Dating back to 17,000 B.C., the polychrome cave paintings in South West France are probably the world's oldest artwork. Their age is remarkable but, for me, it's the fact that prehistoric man selected particular surfaces of his cave walls to add a physical depth and a rich expression to his paintings. Previously benign bulges in the rock-face were totally transformed when he/she circumscribed them with the outlines of horses, mammoths or bison: they became the bellies, legs or heads of the animals.
I’ve borrowed from this prehistoric paradigm and for the central narratives used photographs of the, now tamed, landscapes, townscapes and fruits of the land, all shot in France’s Dordogne and Charente regions. These have then been suffused into photographs of walls from the same areas. The cracks, chips, discolouration and erratic rough surfaces add an unexpected visual dimension and like the Neanderthal paintings, result in enriched photographical images.
Reading from top to bottom, photographs 3, 5 and 8 are of Villebois Lavalette. More interestingly picture 5 shows La Maison du Couvent plumb in the centre with Studio Lavalette in front of it.
These 15 images are meant to be viewed as three rows of five photos - if your browser does not let you see them in this way, grab the bottom right hand corner of the browser and drag it to the left until the pictures display as I intended...!
The RPS awarded me the Associate Distinction, in the Visual Arts category, in June 2012 and the entire panel is hanging on the wall of the studio in Studio Lavalette.
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