The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
How Art Began with Antony Gormley
Thursday 24 January 2019

How Art Began with Antony Gormley, Saturday 26th January 21:00 BBC TWO. For those who can watch, this is highly recommended.

The rotating polished steel cylinder by Mirosław Bałka at Muzeum Susch Switzerland
The artist (top left) in France. Image: BBC. The Angel of the North (bottom left) by Antony Gormley. Image: Getty Images Event Horizon (top right) by Antony Gormley in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Image: AFP/Getty

Why do humans make art? When did we begin to make our mark on the world? And where? In this film, Britain's most celebrated sculptor Antony Gormley is setting out on a journey to see for himself the very beginnings of art.

Once we believed that art began with the cave paintings of Ice Age Europe, tens of thousands of years ago. But now, extraordinary new discoveries around the world are overturning that idea.

Antony is going to travel across the globe, and thousands of years back in time, to piece together a new story of how art began. He discovers beautiful, haunting and surprising works of art, deep inside caves across France, Spain and Indonesia, and in Australian rock shelters. He finds images created by hunter-gatherers that surprise him with their tenderness, and affinity with the natural world. He discovers the secrets behind the techniques used by our ancestors to create these paintings. And he meets experts making discoveries that are turning the clock back on when art first began.

Finally Antony asks what these images from millennia ago can tell us - about who we are. As he says, "If we can look closely at the art of our ancestors, perhaps we will be able to reconnect with something vital that we have lost."

In a recent article by Richard Morrison in The Times, Antony Gormley explains that "Art is being ignored and that's a tragedy and a travesty."

Article continues below
Article continues

For the first and (he says) last time, Sir Antony Gormley has turned TV presenter. Britain's foremost sculptor, now 68, has no illusions about the result: a 75-minute BBC Two film called 'How Art Began'. "I'm not Simon Schama or Kenneth Clark, telling you everything you need to know about something and what you should think about it," he says. "I am just going down some holes and the camera is there filming my reactions to what I see."

Gormley explores this ancient art on a global scale. He visits the dancing figures of the Gwion Gwion paintings in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia, believed to be more than 22,000 years old. He then considers the recent discovery of a 5 ft. long ochre depiction of a bull in the Lubang Jeriji Saleh cave of Indonesian Borneo has been dated as being between 40,000 and 52,000 years old.

What do such ancient paintings tell us about early humans? "They tell us that art - the idea of expressing things that were part of, but went beyond, everyday reality - came right at the beginning of humanity's existence, perhaps around the same time as we learnt how to cook and speak, and that it was a completely natural activity," Gormley says. "Look at the cave paintings. You realise that art was essential, universal, a part of human life from the start. And that's a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops."

"When the artists in the caves so obviously acknowledge humanity's dependency on other life forms, they are sending a vital message to today in a way they could never have realised."

Read more:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0c1ngds

Bradshaw Foundation:
http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/

Comment
Rock Art
New Nazca geoglyphs discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 November 2019
Quinkan Country rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 11 November 2019
Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 November 2019
Cave Painting
Cave art & the origin of language
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 04 December 2019
Louvre exhibition with roots in cave art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 03 December 2019
Aboriginal rock art site reclaimed
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 25 November 2019
Paleoanthropology
The extinction of the Neanderthal
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 28 November 2019
Skull found in Greece
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 11 July 2019
Ice Age wolf found
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 12 June 2019
Archaeology
Neolithic settlement discovered in Turkey
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 05 December 2019
Lion figurine discovered in Denisova Cave
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 21 November 2019
Modern technology for ancient ochre
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 20 November 2019
Anthropology
South Pacific Islanders used obsidian for tattoos
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 July 2016
Oldest evidence of domesticated rice in China
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 23 June 2016
Landscapes shaped by human activity
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 07 June 2016
World Heritage
Moving the stones of Stonehenge
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 16 July 2019
Adoranten 2018
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 20 June 2019
Modern sculpture meets ancient Greece
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 08 May 2019
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
ROCK ART
New Nazca geoglyphs discovered
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 November 2019
Quinkan Country rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 11 November 2019
Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 November 2019
CAVE PAINTINGS
Cave art & the origin of language
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 04 December 2019
Louvre exhibition with roots in cave art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 03 December 2019
Aboriginal rock art site reclaimed
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 25 November 2019
PALEOANTHROPOLOGY
The extinction of the Neanderthal
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 28 November 2019
Skull found in Greece
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 11 July 2019
Ice Age wolf found
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 12 June 2019
ARCHAEOLOGY
Neolithic settlement discovered in Turkey
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 05 December 2019
Lion figurine discovered in Denisova Cave
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 21 November 2019
Modern technology for ancient ochre
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 20 November 2019
ANTHROPOLOGY
WORLD HERITAGE
Moving the stones of Stonehenge
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 16 July 2019
Adoranten 2018
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 20 June 2019
Modern sculpture meets ancient Greece
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 08 May 2019
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store