Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fine Art Center in Dunedin

First off I must say that our life style has radically changed, at least for now.  John certainly would rather be on the road, but I enjoy my time with the grandchildren.
The weather continues to be quite hot, we had thought September would bring some relief but guess we will have to wait until October.  So we are still looking for indoor activities and Saturday we visited the art center here in Dunedin.  As I have written before, we often are surprised at what art museums in small towns have to offer.  And we were quite pleased at what we discovered in this art museum.  One exhibit was on Harmonic Divergence.  This exhibit of art was inspired by music.
There is a vegetable orchestra in Vienna.  The members have been building  instruments from legumes, cabbages and courgettes for twelve years.

  There are recordings of the band's music- which, according to museum information is described as "transparent, crackling, shrill, massive dark and hypnotic, funky and groovy". I would have to agree!  Also on display are instruments made of ceramic, as well as guitars made of scrap lumber with such treasures as door springs, saw blades and pot lids inside. They are painted with red barn paint.
The  exhibit, which I enjoyed at this museum the most, is titled" Dignity: Tribes in Transition".  Photographs on display here were taken by Dana Gluckstein.  For thirty years she photographed Indigenous Peoples around the world fighting for their land, their traditions, their languages, against large companies, their governments and missionary zeal.  In 1970 representatives from tribes in North America took their concerns to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.  Their declaration of rights was approved by all nations except a few- America and Canada did not sign it.  Fortunately President Obama signed it in 2010.  There is an article in this exhibit written by Desmond Tutu in which he notes that "umbuntu" is needed world-wide.  In the Nguni Bantu language it translates roughly to "human kindness".  It is the essence of what it is to be human, that we are inter-dependent with other human beings and the rest of creation.  A bit of human kindness is certain needed in our political discourses during this election year!

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