Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Research Update

Sunday 14th November 2010

I have been researching cave paintings further today. I found a very interesting and informative website called the Bradshaw Foundation (http://www.bradshawfoundation.com  consulted on 14/11/10). The Bradshaw Foundation seem to dedicate themselves to all forms of prehistoric ‘rock art’ and give much valuable information about these ancient art forms (including carvings outside) from all around the world. There are cave paintings from not only France, but also Africa, America and Australia.
France, Niaux Cave



Australia, Gwion Gwion

Most of these paintings are of animals and humans hunting them - these images appear to be forms of good luck charms, to help with the success of hunting food. There are also some cave paintings that consist of stencilled hands/hand prints and even the introduction of some geometric shapes. It is suggested on The Bradshaw Foundation's website that these geometrics may be the earliest forms of symbology, which will lead on nicely into research of hieroglyphics and other ancient forms of ornamentation on walls.

Tuesday 16th November 2010

Hopefully we will be having a team meeting tomorrow. I need to meet my fellow team members to discuss progress and what directions they are all headed in. I am continuing my research into the history of applying decoration to surfaces (in particular walls but other surfaces have merit too) but I am being distracted by the fact that I have got behind in my research due to work pressures.

Currently my research is based upon two books; they are The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones (2008) Herbert Press and The Language of Ornament by James Trilling (2001) Thames & Hudson. I am struggling with comprehending the text of The Grammar of Ornament as it was written in the 19th century and therefore progress is slow. His first chapter opens ‘From the universal testimony of travellers it would appear, that there is scarcely a people, in however early a stage of civilisation, with whom the desire for ornament is not a strong instinct. The desire is absent in none, and it grows and increases with all in the ratio of their progress in civilisation. Man appears everywhere impressed with the beauties of Nature which surround him, and seeks to imitate to the extent of his power the works of the Creator.’ The desire for ornament, as Mr Jones puts it, has been present since ‘stone-age’ man decorated his cave with hunting scenes but as this part of my research will show many forms of ornamentation applied to walls actually served another important purpose other than that of decoration – functions such as communication, in the form of Egyptian hieroglyphics, and warmth in the form of tapestries used in Medieval Europe.
So, back to the text books, I must have something to discuss at the meeting!

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