Africa is a vast continent rich with natural resources. The “Earth Matters” exhibition focuses on human relationships with land, culture, and the environment. The museum exhibit presents different forms of art as a way of making sense of the place where humanity and nature intertwine with one another. The museum has a collection of textiles, tools, masks and objects. “Earth Matters” focuses on five themes: Material Earth, Power of the Earth, Imagining the Underground, Strategies of the Surface and Art as Environmental Action. The themes provide a vast amount of information to consider from the most touching relationships that Africans have with the Earth.
The museum looks small from the outside, but has three floors underground. When I went into the second level floor underground the museum started with the “Earth Matters.” The layers are illustrated to represent the many layers of connection man kind has with the Earth, as well as to illustrate the many layers within the Earth itself. There is also a big projector that shows a video entitled of “Touching the Earth,” which shows Bernie Searle, a South African artist moving across without shoes through different type of weather and landscapes from the desert to the snow. She walks from surf to salt, from salt to sand, from sand to volcano erect. This video is a representation of human contact with the Earth.
The exhibitions start with the Material of Earth, which asks questions such as what does the word “Earth” mean to you? For me Earth is a beautiful place to live in, and a symbol of life and home for human being and animals. Owanto, from Gabon brilliantly states this idea, “Our relationship with the earth is absolutely essential. It has to do with our roots. Without our feet on the ground, we are deprived of this relationship.” This
statement is placed on the museum wall and accurately acknowledges the importance of the Earth in relation to humans.
There was a brochure that was provided at the exhibits that outlined the basic background information concerning the many pieces of art. The brochure contains the history of the Earth, African map, what the Earth is made of as well as the five themes of the exhibit. The brochure contains insightful questions, such as what the definition of the Earth is and what it means. The brochure contains such questions to engage visitors and provide a guide for the people as they explore the exhibit. The colors of the museum’s walls are exceptionally different. The exhibit’s upper half of the wall is painted burgundy and the lower half of the wall is a light grey color. The environment in the museum creates a calming and soothing sensation. It is not too bright, nor is it completely dark. There are three big TV screen monitors attached to the ceiling, one is on the right side of the gallery shows mining and the mining process and the other two are on...