Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ancient Art

( Top image is from my sketchbook.)

Ancient cave paintings are more beautiful than anything i could ever imagine. Years ago, I visited the caves at Saint Cirq du Bugue, Dordogne France. We drove up a winding road on the hill past walls of rock. The road came to a dead end where two stone houses jutted out of the rock. I remember an old man who lived in one of these shelters lead us around the back of the house and down into a cave with a flash light....just like he would go into the basement for some wood. At first it was hard to make put anything. It was just scratches on the walls of this musty dark hole in the ground. But then i switched my train of thought and suddenly symbols began to jump out at me. A man with a large belly and even larger phallus leaning over something....Two or three lines made up his face but his expression was breathtaking. It felt as if leaving that cave would disrupt the threads of time and we would emerge in another time and place. For me, being in these caves is like being in a Cathedral.
The top image is a painting out of my sketch book that was inspired by the carvings on the oldest walls.

When i think of ancient art....i am fascinated by which of it is ceremonial such as for hunting or sex, and which images are drawn simply because the artist can do no less.

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