John Dunn

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Quixotic confrontation with the rock

Monday, 4 Jun 2018

Open hand on Dr John Dunn. The figures emerged into life out of the cave’s rocks, cracks and fissures. Don’t forget, the cave floor was much higher then. He would have crawled in here, through the pitch-black darkness apart from the flame held in one hand from some sort of taper. With the other hand he created this artwork.

That is the cave art at Creswell Crags 13000 years ago. So hidden and without apparent purpose and yet we struggle to impose a purpose upon it, our purpose. This was art not meant to be seen, let alone shared or sold There was no name or personal mark even. No longevity or immortality. In modern terms it was a waste of time, a frivolous act. Were the gods invoked?

A child alone at play is absorbed in the creation of a world that has no audience. Fanciful we say, merely childishness. Who knows which way the child will turn next, what harmonies disturbed, what frail objects upset. Don Quixote take Alice by the hand and upset the equilibrium. Throw a spanner in the works.

The artist hand of ancient man transformed a rock that felt no need for change. A call upon the gods never affected the hunt, but this Quixotic confrontation with the rock was divine. A child-like intervention is only without purpose in terms of the former equilibrium. In these terms,the creation of the Universe was an act of wilful frivolity.

© John Dunn.

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