Louise Griffiths-Kimber

In The Cave

24 October – 5 November 2017

Louise Griffiths-Kimber studied BA Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University.
She has long been fascinated with ancient cultures and has previously produced a body of work inspired by Standing Stones, including Stonehenge ; and a series of ceramic ‘Venus’ figurines.

For the last 7 years she has been making mixed media paintings and, in the last year, unique monoprints inspired by Palaeolithic cave paintings from Lascaux, Chauvet and Pech Merle in France. The original cave paintings have been dated as being between 17,000 – 36, 000 years old.
Louise has visited the facsimiles of Lascaux and Chauvet (the original caves are closed for conservation purposes), and was fortunate to visit the original Pech Merle cave earlier this year.

In February 2017 Louise exhibited her exhibition ”80 Lions and One Owl” in Buckinghamshire. This exhibition was inspired by the distribution of animals depicted in the Chauvet cave in the Ardeche, which is the oldest known site of cave painting discovered so far. Some of the work from that exhibition is on show in this current exhibition, including Louise’s own interpretations of some of the animals that the cave artists also portrayed.

Producing this series of artworks based on the cave paintings has made Louise consider how environmental change (the originals were produced in the Ice Age), and Man’s intervention with Nature has affected various animal species in Prehistory. Many of the animals shown are now extinct or have evolved into different species namely mammoths, aurochs, woolly rhinos, megalocerus, cave lions and bears.

Louise’s fascination lies not only in the mastery of the ancient artwork, when Man had to fight for survival, but in the explanation for their creation in the first place. Often the images were painted deep in the caves, sometimes in inaccessible areas. Man did not live in the caves but in rock shelters. It is still unknown why they ventured into the depths of the caves to make these paintings. Were they Rites of Passage?To encourage a good season of hunting? As calendars? To honour the ancestors? For Religious or Shamanic reasons? We will probably never know, but it provides food for thought, and one thing is for certain – the prehistoric artists had a great affinity with the animals as they are so incredibly well observed.

Louise works and lives in Portsmouth. She is a member of The Clay Station and attends printing workshops at The Omega Centre.

If you would like to meet the artist Louise will be at the Oxmarket on Tues 24th Oct 10-4; Sat 28th October 10-4 and Sunday 5th Nov 11.30-4.