What is the Good Life? My experience at the harn museum of art

So the first stop on my Good Life Tour led me to this amazing piece of artwork called 'Vessel' located in the Asian Wing of the Museum. I was immediately drawn into its presences by the cool blue shattered crystal structure peeking out of dry brittle rock. I absolutely love the idea of something so beautiful having to break out and emerge from something ugly. It's like metamorphosis; the changing within. This piece was made by Ogawa Machiko in 2008 with a variety of mediums. The large sand colored piece is a rounded piece of stoneware with amazing translucent turquoise cracked glass flowing in the center. This was probably my favorite piece in the whole museum because I just liked how beautiful and simple it was. Ogawa Machiko draws from her experiences from her travels which include Paris and West Africa and growing up in Tokyo, Japan. While Japanese art is her origin, her work depicts worldly characterization and universe sensibility.

As I entered the Asian Wing of the museum, I was immediately encapsulated by all of it's natural beauty. I am a nature girl at heart, and growing up in Ohio with dense luscious deciduous forests and trails that took months to explore was one of my favorite activities to do back home. This wing immediately reminded me of what I love about nature; it's breathtaking vibrant green colors mixed in with the deep dark wood grained patterns along with sounds of trickling water and the scurry of animals and insects around me. It was like I was in a whole new world inside of a museum inside of Gainesville inside the middle of Florida. This inception-like feeling was the deciding factor in me picking this part of the museum for what I found most appealing to me.

I really connected with this piece of artwork called Cama Alta (Tall Bed) more than any other piece in the whole museum. During my first walk around the contemporary collection I actually overpassed it, completely missing the huge white toned painting hanging on one of the walls. On my second walk around I came across it and was underwhelmed before I read its tag. What spoke to me in the description of the piece was the sentence, "Each suggests the palpable presence of someone just there or about to come." When I looked back at the painting, I then saw the outlines of where the bodies used to lay. The reason this piece spoke to me and my core values is because almost two months ago I lost my boyfriend, the love of my life, to an overdose, and it has been incredibly hard since then. I think about him every day and miss him terribly, every moment wishing I could wake up to him lying next to me. This oil on canvas piece of art reminded me of him, and the fact that he was there... and now he is not. But like the description said, it shows that someone could be about to come, meaning to me that even though he is gone, I need to have faith and be strong and know that there is someone else out there for me and even though waiting sucks, it will be all right in the end. My core value depicted here is companionship because it shows two people intimate enough to sleep in the same spot over and over to leave an imprint. Finding love is one of the best feelings on earth and I want to be able to experience it again. The artist Linda Kohen develops her art in a personal, sensitive, and metaphoric way that I picked up instantly after seeing the body imprints and reading the description. She's motivated by life and death and creates artworks that encapsulate both.

What represents The Good Life to me is equality. Throughout the intro to humanities course, one of the biggest ideas we talked about is gender equality. This Women's Wedding Ensemble (asherab nabuak) is a late 20th century garment made of synthetic cloth, silk, cotton, and buttons. It is traditionally worn by the women of Siwa Oasis which is located in the Western Desert of Egypt. This outfit is worn on the third day of her seven day wedding ceremony when the bride introduces her family into her new home. The Native Artisanship Development Initiative with support of an amazing Italian fashion designer have now provided women more employment possibilities because their embroidery work has now been featured in high end fashion houses all across Europe. The Siwa Oasis women are now able to salvage a disappearing tradition while also sometimes earning twice the wage earned by men. This represents The Good Life to me because women in a native culture are now being given the chance to show off their beauty of their culture while also earning a lot of money to support themselves. This speaks gender equality to me because even though the women may be earning twice the wage as men, women have earned a right to an industry where they can excel and create beautiful pieces of art and support themselves all by portraying their beautiful heritage.


All my own photos except main overlook of the Harn Museum

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.