Visions That The Plants Gave Us
Pablo Cesar Amaringo
Soon after, Amaringo was taught the mysteries of healing by a forest woman who appeared to him in dreams. He practiced vegetalismo from 1970 to 1976, traveling throughout the Peruvian Amazon. Plunging deeper and deeper into the power of ayahuasca, or yajé, an herbal concoction widely used in a shamanic context among the Indian and mestizo populations of the upper Amazon, he became tortured by the spirit world. After fighting with and being injured by sorcerers and spirits, he decided to abandon shamanic practices and forsake ayahuasca. He began to paint, interpreting the other worlds of his experience in his art, and working for preservation of Amazonian environment and culture.
In 1988, Amaringo founded the Usko-Ayar school, where he teaches students to visualize internally what they are going to paint, in the same way that he does himself. As Amaringo notes, "The school's purpose is well defined: it is a tool for the conservation of the Amazonian environment and culture. By observing and depicting nature, people – especially young children – become more aware of its beauty and richness, and they learn to respect it. In addition, the students hope that their paintings will inspire other people to share similar attitudes of appreciation and reverence." Amaringo feels that he has a mission, which is to show glimpses of other dimensions through his paintings. Language, he says, is an imperfect means of communication. The spirits do not talk, but express themselves through images.
In 1992, Amaringo received the prestigious Global 500 Peace Prize from the United Nations Environmental Program, joining Jacques Cousteau, Chico Mendez, and Jimmy Carter, among others, as a true hero of the environmental movement.
-- Electric Gallery
Selected paintings from the exhibition
On loan from Luis Eduardo Luna:
On loan from the Electric Gallery:
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St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York
Last updated: Monday, May 14, 2001