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Friday, October 1, 2010

Stones

Somewhere between 3000 and 5000 years ago (... forgive me if that sounds a little vague, but I am quoting the experts here. Yes, I know, 2000 years, give or take, sounds as significant as the difference between the time Christ walked the earth and now, but if the experts are okay with that kind of time disparity who am I to argue?) ... anyway somewhere between 3000 and 5000 years ago a bunch of un-named individuals (more than 500 at least!) got together and decided to shape, and then drag a number of really big rocks (and when I say big, I mean really BIG ... you really have to see to believe just how big) a marathon distance overland to a specific, rather nondescript, spot where they set them in a very particular fashion, that just happens to reflect all sorts of seasonable changes. Stonehenge.

Now considering the population in the UK at this time (whatever time this actually was) was VERY small and very primitive, this is a significant feat of both social co-operation and ingenuity, never mind engineering AND creativity. * Aside - Bill Bryson took time out to mention that the guy who co-ordinated this (hey ... coulda been a girl) must have been one hell of a motivator! True! *
It struck me that there seems to be a very close link between creativity and religion. We believe that Stonehenge had some kind of religious significance to these people, and there is evidence that people conducted ceremonies at Stonehenge over two millenia! Now I realise that Stonehenge is not really regarded as being a art piece per say, but it seemed to me, in walking around it, to be a serious piece of installation art. A few days later, looking at the number of religious paintings on display at the National Gallery in London, a truth, pointed out to me by a significant other, was so, so apparent. Early masters focussed almost exclusively on religious subjects. Consider that.
Consider further that we assume that cave art; that of stoneage man; that of the San, had religious connotations.

I have nothing deep and meaningful to say, other than observe that man, at base, seems to be an artist; and artists, at root, seem fixated with the spiritual.
What do you think that means? Do artists sometimes reflect the creative expression of mans' need, mankinds' hunger, for a relationship with God?

Food for thought.

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