Grimalkin Studio | The Age of Light

The Age of Light

August 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Adinkra Ananse NtontanAdinkra Ananse NtontanFrom my series Adinkra Symbols of West Africa. Ananse Ntontan represents creativity, wisdom and the complexities of life. Ananse, the spider, is a well-known character in African folktales. The Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti. The symbols represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics and pottery They are incorporated into walls and other architectural features. Fabric adinkra are often made by woodcut sign writing as well as screen printing. Adinkra symbols appear on some traditional akan gold weights. The symbols are also carved on stools for domestic and ritual use. The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment. There are many different symbols with distinct meanings

Grimalkin Studio recently came upon a great series that gives us a glimpse of where we came from, Waldemar Januszczak's landmark BBC4 series "The Dark Ages - An Age of Light". It’s a four part series that traces the artistic contributions of the Dark Ages.


Part I, “The Clash of the Gods”, traces the emergence of Christianity as an artistic force incorporating and replacing the Classical, pagan influence.


Part II, “What the Barbarians Did for Us”, presents the barbarian Vandals, Goths and Huns as something more than warriors, invaders and destroyers by focusing on their artistic and architectural achievements.


Part III, “The Wonder of Islam” introduces the distinctive forms of Islamic architecture and “art designed to depict the wonders of Paradise” along with a discussion of the incorporation of their artistic impulse into their astronomical study.


Part IV, “The Men of the North presents the Vikings as creators of stunning artwork as well as the fearsome raiders of Britain and Ireland.


This series is engaging on many levels and Waldemar Januszczak is an entertaining and knowledgeable host with a style that is quirky in the best sense. 







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