On Creativity and Play
Feature Artist of the week - Mark Rothko
David Zhang of Guangzhou University recently led a group high into the Tibetan Tableau of Southwestern China, an area known as “the roof of the world” for its elevation 4,000 meters above sea level. There, they found a piece of limestone that had fossilized a playful composition of hand and foot impressions. The pattern was “deliberate” and “creative,” according to a paper that Zhang and fellow researchers published in the journal Science Bulletin in 2021, and the piece “highlights the central role” that artistic exploration and play has held for our species. Uranium series dating determined that this artwork could be 226,000 years old. With our hands and our feet as our first artistic tools, we’ve been leaving behind our imaginative impressions since Earth’s last ice age.
Play is a key component of the arts and aesthetics in myriad ways. Art and play are like two sides of the same coin, with play being a part of artistic expression, imagination, creativity, and curiosity. Though it often gets buried in adulthood, the urge to play exists in all of us. It has been a major part of how we’ve evolved as a species. As Plato famously said, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
Discussions and References to help inspire