I lived and worked in northern Ethiopia between 2012-2013. During this time I set up a studio in Mekele and traveled the northern Tigray region by road. Throughout the jagged terrain, outcrops of mountains appear like family gatherings frozen in time. The rainy season’s intricate evidence cuts deep into the dry earth and cliffs. One particular bluff is in the form of a woman with a child on her back, a legend in the landscape. Spending time with people and learning about their traditions and stories, I opened myself to alternative ways of seeing (environment) — a harsh landscape cradling abstraction, a culture’s mysterious relationship with nature and spirituality maintaining an unbroken link to the ancient past.
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Abyssinia, 2012-13, acrylic on canvas, 31 x 47.5 inches
Asmara, 2012-13, acrylic on canvas, 31 x 47.5 inches
Geralta, 2012-13, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 26 inches
Bahar Dar, 2012-13, acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 47.5 inches
Axum, 2012-13, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 35.5 inches
© 2014 Benjamin M. Betsalel – All rights reserved.