Prehistory and Today: Visiting the Cucuteni with artist Christopher Castle
Artist Christopher Castle will talk about his experience of the little known 7,000 year old Cucuteni culture of Romania, one of the key Old European people and some of the first farmers. He will show slides, discussing Cucuteni art and religion together with his visual work that delves into their inner meaning.
He recently returned from an artist’s residency in Moldavia, northeastern Romania, where he attended an international symposium on the development of scripts entitled From Symbols to Signs. The Cucuteni were one of several peoples whose symbolic marks were seminal in the genesis of writing.
The thousands of small clay female figurines found by archaeologists are signs of a cosmology that was focused on a birth-giving, nourishing, death-wielding and regenerating force in the universe, a Goddess. The form and surface decoration of Cucuteni pottery and figurines point to a life that included observing the cycles of nature, invoking the fertility of the land, and even a sensibility to subtle geomantic energies.
Christopher demonstrates through his own work with this ancient material a visible manifestation of a consciousness that integrates mind with nature, an understanding that is so badly needed in our times to counter the extremes of environmental exploitation. Further he explores the powerful potential that these mysterious artifacts hold as shamanic devices for healing. He will introduce also some other areas of his work that have lead him to this treasure trove of ancient art.
Castle’s work as an artist is an exploration of the relationship between humanity and nature with a distinct slant towards ancient mystical traditions. He has traveled extensively studying ancient sites and artifacts from many cultures. His paintings and graphic works open a doorway to the lost knowledge these places and objects contain. Alongside his studio work, he teaches environmental art in several Bay Area schools and creates murals focusing communities on their locally distinct natural ecology. He exhibits worldwide and his work is in many distinguished collections such as the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the National Galleries of Scotland and Wales.
The event will take place at SRH on Sunday (sic!) November 9, at 1-3pm.
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Silk Road House events are sponsored by the Silkroad Foundation.