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White Elephant
Madhya Pradesh

is a collection of images of rock art gathered from across the world. It features photographs by R. Paul Firnhaber, a rock art researcher whose work includes the field of rock art imaging, theory and practice.

This presentation has several intentions.  First, it is a celebration of the timeless beauty of sacred image and place.  The creative energy of our species has never been so primally exquisite as in the images which we today call rock art.  To transport a gallery of the Louvre, or even the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and to set it over most any rock art site in the world, seems perfectly appropriate.

Like so much of the natural and cultural heritage of our planet, rock art is threatened by the destructive forces of vandalism, encroachment and deteriorating environmental quality. The ingredients for a successful rock art conservation equation include the creation of surrogate data. Such image data can allow continued study of rock art even in the face of damage and loss. So in addition to honoring the beauty and significance of our sacred heritage, these images are also metaphors of conservation and caring.

Rock art study and research, though late in flourishing, is becoming the prized window into the ideological mind of our ancient forebears.  The issues it continues to raise are often beyond science. Such mysteries as how our species fared so well for so long with so little may well be revealed in the dints, scratches and ochres serendipitously preserved on the stone walls and caves of our countrysides.

Please take this moment to thrill and marvel at what "we" are capable of.


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Red Figures
Sego Canyon

  Please go to the information page to learn more. Thanks for visiting.

Photographs 1999 -2011  R. Paul Firnhaber.  All rights reserved.