Design Then and Now

Dear Students

I think, you have just been decorating or will be decorating diyas in class soon. I like your designs very much, and they are much admired by visitors to our school who are lucky enough to be gifted your diyas. Today, I thought, in return, I would like you to click on Diya Decoration to see numerous pictures of decorated lamps to inspire you further. Clicking on each of these pictures will take you to web pages of this art form.


Have you ever wondered how the human urge to design began? May be the earliest signs of artistic creativity exists in cave art still surviving in different parts of the world. Sitting safe around the fire inside a cave with the family group and recounting stories of the day’s hunt, the dangers confronted, narrow escapes, prey killed and life saved, were part of early man’s ‘life-style’. I wonder whether they had sufficient vocabulary to explain the finer details? Or did art help in clarifying what language failed to convey? Were words created out of pictures? Or was art a desire to record the events of fleeting moments, an effort to pin down time itself?



In any case, illustrated stories were first made by adults for other adults as well as for children. One must not think that story-picture combos belong only to children’s literature!

Let us leave these musings and look at some samples of the earliest forms of cave art, by clicking on Cave Art. If you click on the pictures linked to web pages, you can read up on the locations of these caves, the materials used, and the probable dates when the paintings were made.

Some of the paintings are genuine and some are modern imitations of the real thing. Can you tell them apart – identifying the differences between real ancient cave painting and its imitations?

Did these pictures make you think of the stories that might have prompted these ancient artists? Look at this one.

“Once upon an ancient time, when the tribe had migrated to new areas in search of food…

story art

Imagine how cave art would look on a diya?! Pretty whimsical thought, isn’t it?

Share your thoughts on this Post with me in Comments.

Sanjukta Sivakumar


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