Internationally recognized light artist and Smithsonian Educator Craig Kraft has returned from an expedition to the seldom seen ancient caves of Sulawesi. Says the artist: “Along with Libby Harris, I went specifically to view, first hand, drawings made by early Homo Sapiens from approximately 40,000 BP, the very oldest marks to date. This trip is the next step in my inquiry into the universal human urge to mark – from ancient time through contemporary art making.”
The trip was strenuous: six days of hiking through rice patties, over uneven, rough ground, ending in 10-50′ rock climbs up the mountains to explore the ancient caves.
“It was a profound experience and it has already reorganized my conceptual approach to mark making. Considering literature, my own direct experience with ancient drawing and painting, my Unintentional Drawings, the Ground Zerograffiti and my Cave Drawings, it has become clear to me that the universal urge to mark is actually a universal urge to connect, through mark-making, to something deep within us, possibly to a higher power or spiritual world outside of ourselves. The universality is strongly suggested by the fact that over 40,000 years ago Homo Sapiens evolved out of Africa and migrated to both Europe and Asia and arrived to make the same symbol: the hand stencil.”
(via Craig Kraft Studio. Photos courtesy Craig Kraft Studio.)