On October eleventh, Garneau students, along with the media, were given a sneak peak into the new Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre. It was a very interesting and thought-provoking experience.
My group of friends and I had arrived a little bit late due to some issues with signing forms, and there wasn’t much we had missed. The exhibition opened with several speakers discussing the exhibit, its importance, and Da Vinci himself. The boring speeches were concluded by the playing of what was apparently an instrument that Leonardo had invented.
Afterwards we spent around two hours in the exhibit itself, observing the artifacts and models, taking part in the “hands-on, minds-on, bodies-on learning” the CEO of the Science Centre wanted us to. But it wasn’t really the digitally remastered paintings, or the models, or the three dimensional graphics that made the trip special. Nor was it the complementary coffee and biscuits, the bearded tour guides with heavy Italian accents, or the five minutes of fame we were given while interviewed by different news reporters.
This trip encouraged me to think critically about myself and the world around me. My teacher said that it made her feel pathetic to witness the works of genius Da Vinci had created. I on the other hand did not feel pathetic, but instead simply puzzled.
How could one man have had such talent in such a variety of discipline? He had mastered the arts of painting, design, and architecture, and yet still came up with works of engineering years ahead of his time. On top of that, he had made detailed journals and notes on the anatomy of humans and several other animals. And it’s crazy how his work is being looked at hundreds of years later and still amazes people.
Then one wonders where this curiosity and imagination came from. From where in the collection of cells and organs that made up Da Vinci originated this rapidly flowing river of genius? Even more mind-boggling is what Leonardo discovered and came up with that never survived through the years. Maybe he’s living right now in some far off planet in the space-and-time traveling machine he assembled in his basement. You never know.
Finally, you then start to wonder what the point of all this is. What is the worth of all this knowledge and technology in the end? Did Da Vinci himself ever get to a certain point where he felt he could relax and stop creating these genius works of art and engineering? Will we ever get to that point?
What I really wish to get the answer to however is what Da Vinci prided himself the most on. What he felt was his greatest contribution to humanity. The answer to this could be attainable. Maybe he wrote it backwards somewhere in one of his journals.