The Caves at Lascaux, in my living room

A challenge: In a design class at Otis, we had to turn a famous 2D work of art into a 3D version of itself.

My solution: I went for something more ambitious than a single, conventionally sized painting. I wanted to make a place.

Inspired by Picasso’s thoughts on seeing the cave art at Lascaux – ‘We have invented nothing’ – I used a scrim to connect my living space and its wall decorations, to the ancient walls of our ancestors.

I recreated the first section of the cave network, the so-called Hall of the Bulls, seen below in the recreation at Lascaux IV.

Time and budget precluded something like sharkstooth, but a stretch of less expensive (and ubiquitous) chiffon suspended in front of a cheap Harbor Freight tarp worked surprisingly well.

The clip below shows the instantaneous switch from the projected image of my living room to the Hall of the Bulls set behind the scrim. I only had about 18 inches between the projection and the ‘fire-lit cave wall’.

17,000 years with the (literal) push of a button.

Some say that cave paintings viewed in fire light – as, of course, they would have been – were the first form of animation.
I cut each animal from card stock or cardboard and affixed them at different distances from the cave surface. This created just enough space for shadow play under inexpensive flickering lights or candles.

Then I made one out of foam.

Just for fun. Slightly anachronistic.

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