Inspiration: Neanderthal art

caved painting 1
cave painting 2

Neanderthals. We all know they were knuckle-dragging thugs, right? Well, apparently not. There's been a lot of press coverage recently about new research which suggests that far from being complete oafs, they were actually highly intelligent and very cultured. As well as hunting the big beasts of Ice Age Europe, they made jewellery and tools, used medicinal plants, and buried their dead with care.

And, they made art. Long before the arrival of Homo sapiens, they were mixing pigments and painting on the walls of caves in Spain, and probably elsewhere. 65,000 years ago they stood in those caves with an awareness of their own existence and painted handprints, animals, symbols.

So when I had my genes analysed and discovered that I have an unusually high proportion of Neanderthal genes, I was intrigued and excited. I've yet to delve into the raw data in the rest of the report (and you proceed with caution with this stuff because it's really complex) but this little piece of information sent shivers down my spine. A direct link all the way back to my great great grandparents many thousands of times over. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but it's good enough for me. And here I am, drawing hands on my studio wall.