Look at the amazing variety of people and interests expressed in this simple photo.
Susan says ,”At first glance this seems to be a photo intended to show the architecture of an interesting corner of the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art. But look more closely. I see five interpersonal relationships in this space. Three could take place only in this space and two are not defined or confined by this space. The readers on the left under the tree and the couple talking could be anywhere, but the children listening to a presentation (behind the metal sculpture, the man looking up the wall at art we cannot see and the workers outside are all focused on and interacting with the space. Now the photo has become an exploration of how we use the world around us: either interacting with it or simple acting in it. If you take a look at the photo once again, you can see how the people define the room in addition to how the room defines the people. They lift the space by looking up, expand the space by working outside, show us a hidden corner by sitting behind an artwork. There are other ideas at play here. What do you see?”
Lucia says, “Looking down on the triangular shape of this section of the building made me think of the bow of a ship. I wondered if it was a metaphor for a vessel holding art for people to enjoy and experience. Remember, this is part of the Smithsonian, and admission is free to allow access to all people. the people in this scene and their various activities, nicely described by Susan, are a testament to that enjoyment of art. Then I thought of shapes. Of course, there’s the big triangle that first caught my eye, and now I see more triangles. The man looking up, the couple, and the readers under the tree form triangle within the larger one. The window, the wall, and the metal art sculpture form another triangle with the children within it. It’s as if the people in this serendipitous scene have become part of the structure.”
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