I’m in Timmins, ON and I’ve had a few different experiences in education including teaching in the public system, teaching English and French as a second language and being a TA in science labs – the most fun job ever! I’ve also designed online science courses and have started to teach myself about graphic design, which follows from my love of all things artistic.
I’ve been to the Arctic, which was a life-changing experience that brought me to various Inuit communities, allowed me to see the sea floor and even get my hands dirty working in sediments. I walked on several beautiful sun-drenched beaches while wearing a winter coat. I slid down an ice hill and sipped melt water on an ice floe that my ship was parked on. I saw a not-quite-sunset where it took the sun a couple of hours to descend into the elbow space of the horizon before slowly heading back up into the sky. I was already a fan of nature before I went up there, given that I’m from a place where there are lakes and forests at every street corner. Experiencing the Arctic was something else though, with its vast expanses of water and land.
I chose to show a picture about cave art because I am fascinated by primitive civilizations and their technological achievements. I’m not sure what technique was used to create this drawing, but it looks like the darker top layer was scraped away. When cave men make coloured drawings, the process involved grinding a natural product (red or yellow earth, charcoal and chalk) into a powdery pigment, mixing it with a binder like oil and applying it. They could also spray paint on to a surface using a tube (Ball, 2001).
What is most curious about this picture is the human-sized spool-shaped beings that are led forward by people. I suppose their species died out long ago, and that’s unfortunate because they seem to have gotten along well enough with humans to hold their hands.
I enjoy wondering about other civilizations’ activities, and I’m curious as to why primitive people drew on their walls. Was it for documentation or presentation purposes? Was it to experiment with different techniques and substances that were then used for a different purpose? Was it to study the shape and anatomy of objects and animals? Was it for artistic purposes or even just for fun? In the case of this picture, what was the artist really trying to represent? Could she or he understand that the image would stay for thousands of years afterward? I also wonder what other communication methods they used that may have since decomposed or been otherwise lost.
Ball, P. (2001). Bright earth. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.