Human expression is part of our nature. We love to communicate and to express our feelings. We express our feelings via various means of communication. We use speech, emotion, and body language to express what we feel.
Throughout history, we have relied on various other means to communicate our feelings. Art has been a major form of expression. This is because art allows saying something and implies something different. Art is left to subjective thinking and art has been to express feelings when you cannot express them directly. In communist countries or in scenarios where the freedom of speech is limited, art is the way to go to express. Art can take many forms, from sculpture to songs, to picture, to writing, to singing, to dancing. Art is used not only to express repressed feelings but to also better express feelings. It is also important to note that artistic expression is a feature that separates us from animals, as no other animal engages in such activity.
The first signs of artistic expression start in caveman times. The drawing of humans hunting animals on the cave walls is the first form of art. They portrayed the life of people in those times. There are cave drawings 73000 years old in South Africa. Some sculptures go as far back as 40000 BC. Such is the case of the sculpture called Lion-man that was discovered in a German cave. Artistic expression changed as the tools available to express ourselves changed. We have clay sculptures from up to 10000 BC.
After that we entered the metal age, there are sculptures carved in metal. In this time, art becomes part of war too. When weapons were forged, people used to decorate them and to put special symbols or portray deities that would help them in war. At this time, there was also the rise of artistic expression via writing, as this became more elaborate and vultures had developed more. Egyptians are such a case with their carvings on the pyramids and the numerous depictions of their life and they’re portrayal of the afterlife.
With the growth of the civilizations and the use of pottery, art was portrayed onto household items too. The more complex the societies, the more complex the art. Such was reflected not the buildings too. For example, Rome builds a whole new structure, the Colosseum to glorify its power and its culture.
Music was also a form of art as songs were associated with particular religious events, specific celebrations, and even wars. Songs were used to celebrate life events and to make them stand out.
As we can see, art was used as a way to express our emotions and also to amplify our feelings. During medieval times, artistic expression reached new heights as there was the invention of new instruments and the creation of new ways to record and write music.