Aesthetics, Applications, Artistry and Anarchy: Essays in Prehistoric and Contemporary Art: A Festschrift in honour of John Kay Clegg, 11 January 1935 – 11 March 2015 [Paperback]

Jillian Huntley(Editor); George Nash(Editor)

ISBN: 9781784919986 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Year of Publication: 2019 | 182p, H11.5 x W8, 100 figures, 5 tables (42 plates in color)
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Aesthetics, Applications, Artistry and Anarchy: Essays in Prehistoric and Contemporary Art


Scholar and artist John Clegg made a pioneering contribution to the study of rock art. He was the first in the Australian academy to teach rock art research as a dedicated subject (Sydney University 1965-2000), supervising the first graduate students with such specialty, subsequently supporting their careers. He is honoured here for much more than his novelty and the contributions in this monograph pay homage to the late John Kay Clegg’s diverse influence. Rock art researchers from around the globe traverses topics such as aesthetics, the application of statistical analyses, frontier conflict and layered symbolic meanings, the deliberate use of optical illusion, and the contemporary significance of ancient and street art. They cover rock art assemblages from Columbia, South Africa, Europe and across Clegg’s beloved Australia. They interrogate descriptive and analytic concepts such as repainting, memorialisation and graffiti, as well as questioning the ethical impactions of research practices touching rock art as a part of its study.

The tributes in this book are necessarily as individual as the man they honour, and John Clegg was certainly an individual. The longevity of ideas and perspectives Clegg brought to the pursuit of rock art research is demonstrated in this collection of works. Clegg’s continued relevance is testament to the value and magnitude of his contribution. He is a deserving subject for a Festschrift.

Table of Contents

Foreword – by Claire Smith

Prologue – by Jillian Huntley

Introduction – by Jo McDonald


Rock Art and the Possibility of Sensitive Cognition in the Ancient Americas – by Reinaldo Morales Jr. and Howard Risatti

Rock art in the landscape: John Clegg’s path – by Thomas Heyd


Rock engravings in western New South Wales: A comparative analysis of the Panaramitee Tradition site of Sturts Meadows – by Natalie R. Franklin

The Rock Art of Aboriginal Australia from Pleistocene to the Present – by Josephine Flood

The contemporary cultural significance of Gallery Rock, a petroglyph complex recently found in Wollemi National Park, New South Wales, Australia – by Paul S.C. Taçon, Wayne Brennan, Graham King, Dave Pross and Matthew Kelleher


Degrees of change: amendment and alteration in Australian Aboriginal rock art – by Robert G. Gunn

Optical illusions and perceptual determinants in rock art – by Ben Watson

Symbolism, aesthetics, and narrative in rock art – by Jamie Hampson


On thinking outside the square as a strategy for seeing into the innermost circle or how a reading of graffiti may help to penetrate the cave wall with thanks to John Clegg – by Margaret Bullen

Breaking the House Rules: The Politics and Grammar of Disrespecting Contemporary Graffiti – by George Nash


A Touching Debate – by compiled by Jane Kolber

John Clegg at the antipodes of Palaeolithic representations: the Panaramitee Style – by Denis Vialou

University Administrators and Mathesis – by Christopher Chippindale

Parting Remarks – by Jillian Huntley and George Nash

John Clegg’s published works

Select sculptural works by John Clegg

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