Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Red Paint Chips
Its kind of a red day today.  Its not just the news that the Canadian Museum of Civilization is now History that has me seeing red, but I'm also putting a package of red ochre in the mail this evening and Lori and I are looking at red paint chips for some long overdue home renovations.  I really don't want to get sucked into another long rant about the current government's approach to culture and history in Canada, so I'll just say that I share the sentiment of the Canadian Association of University Teachers when they say that Replacing the Canadian Museum of Civilization is a Serious Mistake.

Red Ochre
In happier red news, I'm putting a few hundred grams of red ochre from the Avalon peninsula in the mail for Christopher van Donkelaar, an artist in Ontario who works using natural paints and pigments.  I first heard about Christopher's work when his 100 mile art project  was reported in Canadian Geographic in 2009.  Very cool stuff.  He contacted me earlier in the summer about some ochre from Newfoundland and I'm finally getting around to sending it.  I must say, a half kilo of powdered ochre in a soft envelope makes a very suspicious package.  I hope it makes its way through Canada Post.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast


  1. I've never understood fully, why so many cultures across the world used this stuff.

  2. I saw an interesting talk last spring about some of the earliest ochre use in Africa during the mesolithic. As you say, its pretty much a global phenomenon with a pretty long list of symbolic, functional, and apocryphal uses.

    1. Oops, I meant Middle Palaeolithic, not Mesolithic.


Related Posts with Thumbnails