The Holiday Collective, Celebrating Original Art and Handmade Design, Dec. 2 to Dec. 6 at Artscape Youngplace

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Original Workshop

Artist: Katie Muth The Collective 2011

It's being called the original workshop.

Deep in the heart of South Africa's Blombos caves archaeologists have discovered implements for making paint, which date back 100,000 years.

This amazing discovery, which was revealed recently in the journal Science, showed how long we have been experimenting with color.   

In the cave were bones and stones that had been ground to make a pigment described as reddish ochre.

It seems the earliest artists and artisans recognized the power of red - the color of fire, fertility and passion  - and our attraction to it.

Scientists are unsure whether the paint was used to adorn the body or objects.  While they ponder this, the rest of us can just marvel at the strong desire for artistic expression, which appears to exist within us. 


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