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Anthony Gormley: How Art Began

1
Episodes
90
Minutes
Start of main content
Genre: Factual
Production Year: 2019
Format:

Broadcaster: BBC Two
Producer: Blast! Films

When did we begin to make our mark on the world? Why have we chosen to do it? And where? Sir Anthony Gormley, one of the world's most celebrated sculptors, famed for iconic works such as The Angel of the North, sets out on a journey to find the answers. In this major new film he travels across the globe and back in time thousands of years to examine the art of our earliest ancestors and ask 'why do humans make art'? We venture deep into caves in France, Spain, Australia and Indonesia to see surprising and haunting works, some of which are 28,000 years-old, and also explore a range of ancient painting techniques, including spitting. Gormley, along with historians and other experts, offers interesting interpretations of cave painting and carvings, while dramatic recreations promote deeper understanding of selected images. The art we see covers a surprising range of styles, from calm and tranquil to violent and bloody, and we hear how experts are making discoveries that are turning the clock back on when art first began. Gormley wonders what these images from early history can tell us about who we are now and if they will enable us to reconnect with something vital that we have lost?

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