Tour of the Harn Gloria ashiya katuka


New experiences always have the best impacts on me, and without a doubt my encounter at Harn Museum of Arts was new and definitely unforgettable. Harn Museum presents arts for public consumption with the aim of making art as easily assessable as possible. Real art exhibitions like those in Harn connects the viewers to the art as well as the artist. As a result, the audiences is engaged in a deeper thought and processing of the art to enhance their experience. The audience becomes a part of the art. I am that audience; I was so overwhelmed by the unique differences in the art and I realised through the pictures I took with the art that I became part of the art.

Purser, Stuart Robert, Bicycles, 1946

Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artist

The moment I saw this artwork, I was immediately drawn to it. At first, it was the beauty of the frame that caught my attention and then I took a closer look at the art and I had so many questions. I decided to try to understand the art on my own before reading the description and that was when I noticed the patterns of the artwork. The black lines stood out and the fact that the people were black also got my attentions. However, I became more curious about where they were riding from and to. Where they leaving a place or going somewhere? After a few minutes, I concluded that this was a cultural piece tailored towards a time in the 20th century but I could not decide on a full story until I read the full description. According to the description, Purser's Bicycles was meant to portray the simplicity of everyday life and the black circles of the wheels were a symbol of his interest in abstract art.

Design of the Museum

The design of the museum is certainly an intriguing architectural piece that tells its own unique story. The architectural structure is a thing of beauty both on the inside and outside as well. During my tour inside of the museum, i noticed the area right of the entrance was being refurbished. This oval area connected to most parts of the museum giving the its circular route from the entrance and back to the exit. I referred to it to myself as the circle of art. In addition, the circular nature of the building added a sense of flow to the museum. the different parts connected and flowed together making it easy to navigate and comprehend. The screen and the settings of this prospective wing makes me anticipate what artworks will be placed there. The location is perfect and I feel the need to return if only to see what gets placed in this new wing.

photographed by Ruth Philips

Art and Core Values

As stated earlier in my introduction, the experiences made me feel like I became a part of the art. However, this piece of art is the one that made me realize that connection the most. The different arts and artists represented a variation of cultures and traditions in which every individual can find a connection. However, the one art that stood out to me was the New Sande initiates picture by Ruth Philips. This piece was a portrayal of the beauty of African traditions in the way they young women adorned themselves while carrying their love for their beliefs with pride. The headties and the strapped yellow vigda beads across their chest identifies them as initiates and that connects them with each other and their traditions. Their love and desire is seen in this picture. As a Nigerian born in the post colonial and westernised era, I barely have any real connection with the roots of my African traditions because I viewed them as old and overrated. When I was younger, my parents will take me and my brothers to their village for some traditional event or festival and all we will do is play around and complain about the unfit conditions. I never paid any real attention to any traditional, so being over 5000miles away from home and seeing all these beautiful African arts exhibited with much appreciation, I felt nostalgic and sad. I felt a deep connection with the young women in the picture, with all the African arts and most importantly, I realised how much I missed home and the little memories that I have of some real traditional experiences. Touring this museum really meant a lot for me and took me on a trip down me,pry lane.

Art and the Good Life

The Seated Buddha definitely got my attention not only because it was the first reading we had for this course, but because I found the broken arm very intriguing. Yes, reading Siddhartha introduced me to the course and set a great foundation for the rest of the readings and for the course itself; on the other hand, I never imagined seeing a Buddha with a broken hand so that spiked my curiosity. I have learned so much about myself through Buddha's quest for the good life. Most importantly, I learned that in my journey to seek the good life; it is an individual journey and there is not a single path and all I had to do was choose the path to take. Seeing Buddha sitting alone, makes the whole idea make more sense. I can not imagine having the image of Buddha with another, therefore, I strongly believe that being alone is important to ensure we can uniquely figure out whats the best for us.

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