You may have read recent press coverage of the discovery in South Africa of 100,000 year old ochre based oil paint in South Africa. If you haven’t may wish to:
The Art Instinct
I was struck by how much we share with these early artists and just how little, in terms of the true fundamentals of art have really changed: Most noticeably the need to make and share Art. Imagine yourself in that cave with your palette shells and paints to see how closely we are connected still.
I was suprised to learn of the sophistication of the paint constituents: the pigment was used with an oil based medium and charcoal stabiliser. We are typically dismissive of the knowledge and wisdom of our predecessors, this seems like a good example, why are we so suprised that our ancestors were inquisitive and ingenious?
The Mind in the Cave
I’m fascinated by the origins of Art and recently read David Lewis Williams’ ‘The Mind in The Cave’:
If you are intruiged by the prehistoric artists of the caves – to my mind the likely owners of the shells, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is beautifully written and a very enjoyable read of great insight and rigour.
One of the key points made by author is that the structure and capability of human mind has not changed since prehistoric times. So some ways ‘we’ were there, in those caves.