There is no doubt that culture and art history have shaped art practice over time. Much
contemporary art theory and contemporary anthropology would argue that artwork and human
art-making behaviour is a culmination of culture, the sharing of ideas, and other “...non-genetic
means” (Dutton, 2010, p. 4). However, what if we examined the art-making process from a more
basal, even primordial viewpoint? If we focus on and examine the artistic process as stemming
from innate, evolved characteristics, what is the result?
This exploratory study focuses on a selected series of universal characteristics, and the
connections between them, proposed to be crucial in the development of art-making behaviour:
curiosity, experimentation, and creativity. This study posits that art-making behaviour is a
resulting product of innate, human adaptations and intends to create a body of work representative of both this universal and intimate scope. This study will begin with exploring the
universal determinants and origins of art-making in Volume I and will culminate with
comparative, subjective accounts and experiences of this universal act through a body of
practical artwork in Volume II1. This study is hinged upon this body of artwork and is
documented and examined thoroughly in Volume II: Catalogue & Findings: A Personal Journey
from Curiosity to Creation of this dissertation, which should be read in parallel with this initial,
Volume I document.
While parts of this proposed, art-making system (curiosity, experimentation, and creativity)
inform the general behaviour of humankind, this study and its resulting, practical artworks
(Volume II) attempt to review and observe these traits on an intimate scale as part of a greater,
behavioural whole. This study attempts to do this by creating a resulting body of artwork that is
both a symbol of this universal process as well as a vehicle for its personal investigation.
The purpose of this study is to examine the origins of creative, artistic behaviour as a product of
evolution through connections between curiosity, experimentation and creativity.
Dissertation (MA Fine Arts)--University of Pretoria, 2019.