Cover photo credit belongs to Jared. All other photo credit belongs to myself and my friend, Nicole Marie.
On Saturday, January 7, I went to the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art for my first time. However, it was not my first time viewing an art museum. I've been to numerous art museums in the past including the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Dalí Museum. I come from a family of nearly all artists, so art has been a huge part of my life. I was particularly very excited for my visit to the Harn more so than my visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History. I felt as though it would be easier for me to connect to the artwork at the Harn than the exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Ultimately, I hoped that my visit to the Harn would give me some inspiration for my own artwork whether it be for sculpture, painting, sketching, or writing. As I completed the tour of the Harn, I realized that I was equally influenced by the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Harn to create something new and inspiring that showed a deeper understanding of the connection between nature and our lives.
Medium of the Art:
As I first entered the Museum, to my left was displayed a piece of artwork done by El Anatsui called "Old Man's Cloth."
The artist of this painting, El Anatsui, endured the brutal effects of colonialism in Ghana. This piece is a response to the trauma that the people of Ghana had to go through. The "cloth" is made from the tops of tossed out European liquor bottles with elitist names such as "Chairman" or "King Sullivan." These names remind the people of Ghana of the cruel rule they were subjected to. It reminds them of their mistreatment and abuse. These bottles represent the foreigners who invaded and disrupted their nation. These liquor tops were woven together to resemble African kente cloth, the traditional cloth used to celebrate wisdom and unity. I find that he turned these liquor bottles into kente cloth quite striking; I find that it represents how the people have grown from their suffering and become unified and even stronger. It is the ultimate symbol of nation brought together majestically, a nation that has withstood against the odds and grown from its trials. Trash, the liquor bottles, was recycled into beautiful art, and in the same way, the oppressed people of Ghana came together to reestablish their rule and peace; Ghana became an independent nation.
Had I seen this artwork in a mere photo, I would not have been able to see its defining details; it would be difficult to tell that the cloth has been made from bottle tops. It would not be able to evoke an understanding of the Ghana people's trials as much as it would have in person. This artwork made me feel hope. It proved that even in the greatest of trials, we can still battle through and gain unity and strength from our experiences.
Design of the Museum:
As I made my way through the Harn, I fell in love with the Asian Art Wing. The view was absolutely mesmerizing.