“How many things can we do that’ll still be around five or six hundred years later?” – David Darrow
Inspired by your conversation with David Darrow, I am writing to tell you about an exhibition of Ice Age art at the British Museum. This is art by humans anywhere from fifteen to forty thousand years old. Many sculptures of women. Carvings of now-extinct mammoths. Carved wood made into swimming reindeer. An ivory tusk made into a creature with a man’s body and a lion’s head (pictured). A hollow vulture bone made into a flute. It is proof that our need to communicate through art and creative expression is a basic human need, not a luxury.
That human eyes witnessed animals now lost to us; they studied, and scratched, and carved, and learned, and perfected, and they threw to the ground and crushed in frustration after spending all winter in a cave on something that didn’t quite turn out as expected, and then picked up another tusk and started over, moved me to tears.
I think of you in the art class scraping off the canvas, and me throwing a crappy drawing or story into the rubbish bin.. then finding another tusk, and starting over.