Posted on January 26, 2008
Oil on Canvas
86,5 x 76 cm ; 34 x 30 inches
© The Artist.
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wip = work in progress
At the base of this cliff was a Magadelian settlement, circa 15 000 – 10 000 Before Present (1950). They must have known the anatomy of their home, been intimate with the guardian that loomed above them, & saw it no doubt in a protective manner. ‘Home’.
This is a fundamentally wild landscape, though there is a genteel 19th century planting of conifers & terraces, almost ‘à la Chinoise’. I like this curious meeting of epochs & styles of landscapes.
Posted on January 22, 2008
La Gravette, Dordogne
Green Steatite carving
The above is the ‘Venus of Monpazier’ which is winy, small venus, found not far La Gravette. About 25 kilometres away (a day’s walk). In an open ploughed field. I talked to the man who discovered her. Apparently, he was just out walking. Upon finding her, he fell in love with ‘archeology’ & history. You can see a replica of her in L’Atelier des Bastides, Monpazier.
You can read more about her in Jean Clottes – Voyage en Préhistoire. Editeur: La Maison des Roches.
Other great achievements of this period was much body ornamentation & great ingenuity in making flint tools (I once found a solutrean spearhead lying on the ground, on the surface, right besides my foot, once whilst out painting. As it wasn’t from a acheological layer & had come to o the surface, it didn’t have much value as evidence).
What I like about many of the prehistoric sites in Périgord is that they are still inhabited to this day. 28 000 years of continued settlement. Some changes like the chickens picking away in the foreground & the pruning of the fruit trees (The Gravettian was pre-agriculture) , the odd bit of metal (stone age not metal age), a square window, some faced stone (though I bet they spread hides down from the cliff face in the same manner as this roof), but other than that, not much change. Sometimes, whilst painting quietly in these places, I imagine I can feel the continuity. Maybe there’s a need to reconnect with our sources in our modern, contemporary period, when there is much anxiety about man’s impact on the planet?