Visit to the Ackland

I have visited the Ackland for three classes now, but I enjoyed the pieces we looked at for this class the most.  I love interpreting art, and I loved even more that the art we analyzed tied into the themes and ideas of the books we have read this semester.  My group was also fantastic and getting to hear their ideas made the experience that much better. We first began by looking at different physical adaptations of the Adam and Eve Biblical story.  We looked at two interpretations, one more literal than the other, but both conveyed the same idea. In my opinion, the second piece was much more interesting because it was more interpretive. Only Eve was pictured, and she was black rather than the traditional white.  She was also surrounded by dozens of different kinds of animals. It had bits of intertextuality as the animals seemed like a reference to Noah’s Ark. We then looked at a painting of fisherman on their boat while a storm rolled in. We felt that this piece was very similar to a scene in Robinson Crusoe where he is stuck out at sea during a storm.  This discussion was interesting because although the storm seemed to at first be a negative thing, we soon came to realize that the sailboats in the background needed this wind to move, therefore making it helpful and uplifting, which isn’t usually something a storm is associated with. We then moved on to a really unique piece. It was actually a moving video of what seemed to be a port with a man fishing in the foreground.  When we discussed it, nobody in my group seemed to be interested in it at all but for me it felt like home. I was raised in a port city and this piece gave me such nostalgic and warm feelings, and I think it was definitely my favorite for that reason. The sounds were so familiar and I felt like I could smell the sea and feel the water. The last painting we looked at was VERY abstract. At first we were told nothing about it so honestly I didn’t really see or interpret much at all.  We were later told that it was a representation of the ocean. I can definitely see where the artist is coming from, but I prefer looking at works that are just a little more structured so I don’t feel like I am completely off-base in my interpretation. I know that with art there isn’t a right answer but I like to know that I am not getting something completely crazy and unintended from a piece.