Since my teenage years I have a fascination the people that lived and settled the world in prehistoric times. From the Neanderthals, the Cro-Magnon, and the hunter-gatherers in the Palaeolithic, more than 10,000 years ago to the early settlers in the Neolithic and Bronze Age between 3500 and 500 BC. Not only by collecting their artefacts such as stone tools but also in studying their art, in particular cave paintings (most well known from the Altamira and Lascaux paintings) and rock carvings or petroglyphs (Scandinavia, Kola peninsula, North America, Africa, India, Australia, see link for more).
From July until September 2021 I had the opportunity to work as an Artist in Residence, in Henneviken (Ed), Västra Götalands län, Sweden. Inspired by the prehistoric rock carvings in Bohuslän, the forests and the mud paint colors of the Swedish landscape, I made a series of rockart mud paintings, on wooden panels and on paper, and of forests and landscapes on drawing paper (Van Beek, Fabriano).
With special thanks to JPD and Sten Jakobsson Glasmästeri AB for making my Art in Residence possible.
Scandinavia is particularly rich in rock art, called 'hällristningar' in Swedish. During the Bronze Age (2000-500 BC) inhabitants of the northern regions carved thousands of images into the smooth granite of open-air rock faces. A period in which the life of hunter-gatherers gradually turned into agriculture. On the coasts of western Sweden, especially in Bohuslän (Vitlycke, Tanum, Litsleby, Kvalle, Fossum, etc.), tens of thousands of images can be found. So-called pits, ships, warriors, soles of feet, animals (moose, horses, cattle, dogs) are most often depicted. Images are carved in rock hard granite, by simple stone means, up to 3-5 mm deep. Difficult to see with the naked eye. But with light from the side (sun, moon), or water flowing downwards (rain, running water), the contours become visible. In order to make them better visible, many images have recently been colored in, often with red paint, sometimes with white. The pictures I made on site, I have edited to reshape the rock surface and their carvings, see Red Rock