Good Life Tour of the Harn By caroline knop

Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artist

The piece that I found most amazing in the Harn Museum was without a doubt Old Man’s Cloth. El Anatsui Ghanaian, the artist of this magnificent piece of art, made this incredible tapestry out of both aluminum and copper wires as well as bottle tops of liquor bottles. mThere is a reason that this was in the foyer of the museum and is the first thing that you see once you enter and the last thing that you see before you exit back into the real world. To be able to get so close to this work and inspect all the detail, time and effort that it must have took to create this massive beauty was life changing to say the least. Pictures would not due this piece of artwork justice. The sheer size of this work was incredible. It was so big that when I walked up to it to get a closer look, I almost felt as though I was going to be engulfed by the “cloth” itself. It felt warm and inviting almost as if I was walking into my grandmother’s home. Because the piece of art is made from scraps and used bottle tops, it reminded me of my carbon footprint and my personal patterns of waste and consumption.

Wish I could have this hanging in my room!

Design of the Museum

I found the outdoor courtyard to be the most unique and beautiful design of the building. It brings what is outdoors, indoors and vice versa. The use of both water and greenery in this space exuded life and new beginnings. I found it interesting that this landscape was directly to my right as I exited the foyer. It was before you move on to looking at the majority of the actual piece that the Harn has to offer. For me personally, this put me in a light and airy headspace prior to walking around the museum where the artwork is so dense and meaningful. The placement of this design seemed purposeful and deliberate.

Just a little relaxing in this beautiful place

Art and Care Values

One of my core values is progress or the notion of moving forward and always striving to be better tomorrow than I was today. Infinite Pillars by WADA Akira was a beautiful piece made of porcelain, stone and steel. One of the pillars was higher than the other but both had room to grow and both pillars also could be added to or subtracted from. It was so evident to me in the museum when I saw this piece that it would go perfectly with this core value of mine. As a student athlete here at the University of Florida, I have realize that if you aren’t getting better someone else in another program across the country is. This is not just applicable to volleyball and my experience at this university, but also to life. I strive to make myself better each and every day and to build on the up and downs of yesterday to grow as a person today.

Art and the Good Life

Marilyn Minter’s piece “Prism” is a fine example of the Good Life theme of happiness. While this piece clearly depicts jewels flowing out of the mouth of a woman and the idea of being wealthy, I do not associate happiness directly with money. However, happiness is not worrying about if there is going to be food on the table for dinner or a solid roof over your head at night. When you have sufficient financial funds, it also allows one to explore the world and hopefully find one’s self through self actualization. A perfect example of this is Thoreau and his journey to enlightenment, through his book Walden, only made possible because of his financial state.

One of my favorite pieces!

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