Memory and Line_Harriet Edwards

We started this lecture about memory and line by looking at the cave paintings of not only ‘Chauvet’ in France and ‘El Castillo’ in Spain but also the abstract detail of a South African cave painting. We discussed the expecting meanings of the paintings, seeing the different caves and how these could interpret as art or communication. For instance, detail from a panel at ‘Chauvet’ might mean a pride of lions by hunting for prey or a important part of people’s life at that time as a message. The main theme of these cave paintings was related the use of lines to memories.

Chauvet Lions Large

Paintings from Chauvet, France

el-castillo-hands Paintings from El Castillo, Spain

In a cave in northwestern Spain called El Castillo, ancient artists decorated a stretch of limestone wall with depictions of human hands. These seem to have made the images by pressing a hand to the wall and then blowing red pigment on it, creating like stencil. They decorated by using their hands on an animal painting like symbols as desire and the evidence of the cave paintings might indicate that recently people have inherited their capacity for symbolic thinking from their common ancestor, going back half a million years ago.

Making analogies, the associative

According to memory and line, we were known by this lecture about Tony Buzan. He is the inventor of mind mapping. The Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance.

From Tony Buzan’s website :

‘Every thing is a parliament of lines’ Tim Ingold in ‘Lines’, 2007

A Line Made by Walking 1967 by Richard Long born 1945

Trace: Richard Long, A line made by walking, 1967

He categorises the types of lines, suggesting all of the below follow a line format.

– Gesturing

– Walking

– Weaving

– Observing

– Singing

– Story-telling

– Drawing

– Writing

These ‘all proceed along lines’

Line is the most important element of making art. He suggested that It is not about materials or textures – it is the notation which matters. Human beings have always experienced the earth by walking on it, leaving traces of their paths. He likes to follow unending road lines to see where they will take him.

Richard Long’s practice of creating lines and circles by walking involves his body, scratching his presence on the earth. His interventions are not permanent; his materials – stones, mud and the imprints of his footsteps – will eventually be absorbed by the environment.

Lines and circles are primitive expressions of man’s relation to the earth. Where the lines mark our journey the circle is often invisible, creating a protective boundary of chanted prayers, which can be blown away by the slightest breeze.

Long has commented about A line made by walking (1967) :

Nature has always been recorded by artists, from prehistoric cave paintings to twentieth-century landscape photography. I too wanted to make nature the subject of my work, but in new ways. I started working outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking … My first work made by walking, in 1967, was a straight line in a grass field, which was also my own path, going ‘nowhere’. In the subsequent early map works, recording very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, my intention was to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art.
(Tufnell 2007, p.39.)

Especially I remembered Richard Long (1967)’s a line made by walking in the lecture. My individual mapping from home to university was made by tracing my journey and using a line.

line maping