I Was Here
As much as they inspire awe, caves are for me synonymous with shelter, privacy, and permanence. Upon first learning about cave paintings and drawings (ie. Altamira cave, Cantabria Spain, c. 20,000 yrs. ago), I was captivated beyond my own comprehension. I was left with a lasting impression.
I was struck by what would compel one to make such marks, thereby recording what one had seen or experienced. To consider, and then decide to attempt to record an object, seen or experienced “out there”, on a surface without any known frame of reference; to articulate, so succinctly, gesture, tone, line, proportion and space, I think, is truly a magnificent example of the human imagination. The cave created a sheltered environment, protected from the elements - a decidedly safe haven to create.
The drawings have become a symbol of permanence, indistinguishable from the stone they were created on. A record; a declaration: I was here.
For this show I have constructed my “cave” from a variety of paper products used in the paint department in which I work, destined for the garbage bin. These formed the structure for the cave on which I placed my own marks - drawings created by me over the last few decades.
It is not an accident that this installation speaks of impermanence. I wonder what the “cave drawings” of the future will look like. I wonder whose hand will proclaim “I was here”.