Seeking the Good Life in the Harn created by: Mary Ananditha Kommareddy

Islandia Goddess of the Healing Waters
The medium of this statue and technique of the artist are absolutely stellar. Created by Audrey Flack, the medium of the sculpture is polychrome and glided pastor. In person, this sculpture is filled with complex details and lines that would not be caught through a website or book. The use of these materials along with artistic talent combine to form a powerful, celebratory, and exuberant appearance. It's scale, harmonious proportions, and use of bright colors are true striking features. Mainly, the intricacy of the Goddess from its wings to its body position seem to be reflecting upon democratic ideals and autonomy. The sculptor made the eyes of the goddess completely white, an important detail emphasizing almighty dominion. When I looked at the face, I felt power. When I looked at the stance and wings of the Goddess, I felt confidence. It communicated to me the strength of a women. Together, I felt invincible.

The design of the museum by the African exhibit gave me much enjoyment. Right at the entrance, there was a video on a giant screen of a cultural gathering that really caught my eye. I am a huge fan of ethnic dances and thats exactly what the people were doing at the festival. Naturally I strode right to this exhibit. As I kept walking, I saw a statue of an african man dressed in ethnic clothes right next to the video. Around the statue were masks worn by the people. This use of space and arrangement of the art made the culture seem very interesting and appealing. It attracted visitors to go in and explore. It was fascinating learning that the masks worn at these festivals were used to worship their Gods. It made me feel very happy and entertained learning about the diversities of this world and the way Africans live and go about their religious lives.


This photograph really invoked me in a negative way right when I saw it. Although the girls are dressed in nice clothes and are holding hands, I can see the depression in their eyes. Before I even read the description of this picture, I can tell from the background that they are living in an unfortunate state of poverty. Overtaken by curiosity, I began to read the description next to the picture. I discovered that these girls along with many people in their time were enduring the effects of poverty, industrialization, and political oppression. These poor little girls from Latin America were forced to migrate from their homes in order to attain basic needs of life like food and water due to an undeveloped economy. Watching people, especially young children suffer through impoverishment has always invoked emotions of hate and sorrow. Hate for the government's ignorance of their people and their lack of offerings of help, and sorrow watching the lifestyles they are forced to live. A very important core value for me is equal opportunity for all people.Many of these children don't even get the opportunity to go to school and are forced into an agricultural lifestyle. It is truly unfair that only the rich were given luxuries in these times while the poor were disregarded.
Art and the Good Life

After reading the book Siddhartha, I realized that the true definition of the Good Life varies upon on the many experiences and sufferings one endures or sees . Although the accurate meaning of the good life is too ambiguous to define, I believe a good approach to it is becoming enlightened and attaining nirvana, both important themes in the good life. Thoughts and emotions such as materialistic beliefs or likings, ego, strong desires and pleasures, hatred, anger, and many others will seem to flow together and find a balance in this timeless world. Self-denial and self-gratification or yin and yang need to have an equal balance. This world is neither completely perfect nor completely cruel. When one understands the interconnection of this world, enlightenment can be achieved. This meditating Buddha statue provoked all these thoughts in me. The very symbolic meaning of a Buddha is wisdom, peace, balance, and courage. Its wise, peaceful face shows that he has defeated pain and desire in this world. This Buddha has reached the final stage of nirvana and has been awakened. I, too like this Buddha, want to reach enlightenment and overcome suffering.

All images taken by Mary Ananditha Kommareddy and Abhinav Kom.

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