The Chauvet Cave Paintings | Interpret & Create

Reflections and Thoughts

article-0-08570fec000005dc-72_468x312As part of our creative brief four, we were given a photograph or painting and asked to make a short narrative film based on our interpretation of the image. When I looked at the painting and saw the subject, immediately I thought handprints equals people; a drawing of some sort of animal so that was a representation of all forms of life. I tied the spiral in and defined that as the circle of life. There are three circles one inside the other. I broke this down as a representation of birth, life and death. After listening to several opinions of what my group members had come up with I particularly liked the idea that this is one of the first pieces of art/ story telling in history.  In addition, it can also be seen as a map for the human race swell as a message hidden within the visual meaning of it.

You could view this painting as as one of the first forms of montage. Theres a juxtaposition of the images, that separately they have random meanings. However, when put as a whole/ collective theres a wider meaning to the painting.

imagesHaving taken a brief look at the Werner Herzog film ‘ Cave of Forgotten Dreams’, “the permanence of the cave paintings to this day symbolically defines the worth of articulating one’s inner self” or in the case of the film “dreams”, which even when seemingly forgotten, have continued to exist, suspended in beautiful perfection with time as patient witness. It leaves one to ask the question after watching the film that ‘Are these paintings, the forgotten dreams of our ancestors and do they also serve as a guide to our true selves’.

I realise that this painting draws different meanings from the interpreter. Is it safe to say that it shows you what peoples minds are like and what they think when they see this; what it means for them? Who is to say theres only one meaning to it or one dream, its multiple meanings and multiple dreams represented within it. All ideas and visions contrast each other but are still brought together by the subjects (hands, spiral, animal) whom act as the impetus’ to the individuals dream/ thoughts about the image.

Our Film Idea

Below is a very short pitch for the film we wish to make, based on themes and visual interpretations of the original cave painting image :

A short drama film in which two contrasting lives are forced together through a message scrawled in a tunnel underpass. In both parralel stories, the tunnel holds the key to unwanted memories, triggered by a single image on the wall. The film explores the significance and impact of images, as well the human instinct to hide away unwanted feelings.’   


Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog (2010)


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