Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Field Trip

Feeling the need for some art stimulation, last Friday I decided to take a field trip to the Hood Museum of Art. (Remember those school trips on noisy yellow buses?....well, this was much more enjoyable!) I'd read about the exhibition "Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth" and was curious. It was well worth the visit with some extraordinary works on display!

My favorite piece was right at the entrance, a massive (about 8 feet high and 14 feet long, I'd guess) wall sculpture by African artist El Anatsui. It was made with aluminum bottle tops that had been cut and flattened, then painstakingly held together with copper wire. I've never seen anything like it! The artist made use of the two sides of the bottle caps, one side silver or gold, and the other, some variation of red) to create beautiful stripes mimicing fabric native to his region. The entire piece hung in huge undulating folds and seemed to move out from the wall.

I can't imagine the patience and vision that went into creating "Hover". How many bottle tops were collected and how could the piece have been constructed with such delicate materials? How was the artist able to evoke such emotion in me when he used such simple materials? Even thinking about it now fills me with wonder and I'm so grateful to have access to a wonderful art museum so close to home.
Barbara Bartlett

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