Thursday, July 19, 2007

Artist Peter Stuart's "Homer", next to the Cerne Giant

Artist Peter Stuart has painted a rather more modest, donut wielding, Homer Simpson next to the Cerne Giant.

While I would agree that concern over the preservation of ancient rock art is real, my personal feeling is one of delight...

While I certainly feel that the art should not be overpainted by vandals or tampered with, we don't know the real intentions of the original artists of any rock art. Indeed, we don't even know the real age of the Giant. Some believe it dates to the 17th Century, though I am skeptical, myself and think it is much older.

To eliminate the possibility of free expression for fear of offending the long-dead when their
own art is in no way devalued by another's creation is just silly, especially since it is in no way endangering the site. I do think that the artist might have chosen a spot a little less close but, since it is in paint and not permanent, I don't see why the condemnation.

When you consider that a good many of the people who are protesting the Homer painting are the same people who believe that "supernatural forces" are behind the crop circles around the world, you can't really take them very seriously.

If this gets a dialogue going on preventing the actual destruction of ancient rock art sites by the ignorant or the willfully destructive, then it is not a bad thing. The fact is that very few people are aware of the sites around the world, including some very close to home, that are being or have been destroyed by vandals.


"This vandalism occurred in the late summer of 2004 at one of the largest sites in the Sierra Nevada. The site is found on a large outcrop of glacially polished magnetite which is a high grade iron ore. This site contains an elaborate display of rock art with almost the entire outcrop carved with petroglyphs. The relative remoteness of this National Register of Historic Places site was not enough to protect it. Despite the existence of previous historic "additions" in the form of graffiti (names, dates, and other inscriptions) carved over the prehistoric rock art at the site the effect of this most recent mindless and illegal act is gut wrenching. The impact of the freshly pecked names is enough to bring tears to your eyes." Friends of Sierra Rock Art

Graffiti at Oiseau Rock

Oiseau Rock
, is a sheer rock face about 150 metres in height which rises straight out of the Ottawa River in Ontario. It was a sacred site for Aboriginal Peoples who have left behind a remarkable legacy of ancient pictographs which may still be seen today. It continues to be part of the sacred landscape for the Algonkins of Pikwakanagan First Nation near Golden Lake, Ontario and of the Kitigan zibi First Nation (Maniwaki, Quebec) who call the rock "Kinew Kishkaabikaan" meaning bird rock.


As one approaches the rock, one will notice an accumulation of graffiti. Some of it is 50 to 60 years old. Unfortunately, it covers rock paintings (pictographs) which were done by Aboriginal peoples.

2 comments:

azahar said...

Have you seen this one?

It was sent to me by Jez from hootoo, so obviously not all pagans are upset by this.

Fragments said...

That's great! I'm going to see if I can post is as an animated gif.