The Cave of Forgotten Dreams
It was a privilege to be allowed into the newly discovered caves courtesy of 3D. No need to expose ourselves to the potentially damaging radon and CO2 nor to abseil down – all too frightening. I would sooner see this film than go to the replica cave which is under construction. Resin doesn’t cut it somehow. Werner Herzog not only showed us the cave, drawings and remnants of flutes but also tried to give us some idea what life was like for the artists. He didn’t tell us what the pigments were made of so I had to go to wikipedia to find out – red and yellow ochre ,manganese oxide, hematite and charcoal.
The “paintings” – really a sort of fresco – are fascinating not only because they are so old ( This skull is 500 years old! Spike Milligan ( sings) “ Happy Birthday to you!”) but because the artists were so talented. Like all artists they had a lot to contend with and their problems similar to those of today .They were surrounded by animals on which they preyed but which must have threatened them. Artists today are preyed on by people who rip them off. They were working in an ice age so must have suffered from the cold. Today artists work in the cold as central heating so expensive. There were two races at the time – Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals. It is thought that Neanderthals died out but they can be found in any workplace or institution today.
I would love to interview the paleothic artist and must rely on time travel:
“ How do you feel about your art being still there after 32,000 years?”
“Well, there were only a few people around at the time I did it so I am pleased it is reaching a wider audience. I think it’s an inspiration to all artists – it takes time to be discovered and they should not give up hope.”
“ People are going to make a lot of money out of your artwork. How do you feel about that?”
“It’s taken the place of bartering. Did you get anything in return for your work?”
“ That is the fate of many great artists. Now your images will be re-produced on mugs and tea towels and others will profit from your work.”
“I did do mugs at the time and gave them away. You know you should not pity us in the Stone Age – we had enough to eat, we could clothe ourselves with animal skins, the air and water was clean, we could spend time painting and playing music.”
“ Thank you. Have you a message for us living today?”
“ You never know do you?”