Friday 23 November

How Art Made The World Friday, 23 November at 8:30pm

Spanning social history, politics, science, nature, archaeology and religion, this international landmark series from the BBC unravels a universal mystery: why humans are driven to create art, and, more importantly, how art has made us human. How Art Made The World screens Friday, 23 November at 8:30pm on TVNZ Showcase on TVNZ 6.

How Art Made The World takes viewers on an amazing journey across five continents and 100,000 years to tell the story of how ancient art has created the way our world looks today. Encompassing everything from cave paintings to ceramics, pyramids to palaces, icons to artefacts, How Art Made The World unravels the mystery of why humans have always made art by exploring the greatest treasures of the ancient world.
The series steers clear of the predictable documentary format of “who did what when” and instead asks the question “why?”. Why are representations of the human body frequently so unrealistic? Why do abstract patterns appear in prehistoric cave paintings? Why do humans create images of death?

The producers of the series couple ancient art objects with the latest thought from art historians, archaeologists, psychologists and neuroscientists to uncover universal truths about the way we create imagery.

Each episode begins with a modern-day mystery, which is answered by journeying back to the beginning of human civilisation via some of the most amazing man-made creations in the world. A strong narrative drives through each film as exciting scientific demonstrations reveal how our minds, and the minds of our ancient ancestors, relate to art.

How Art Made The World was put together by an award-winning team. Series Producer Mark Hedgecoe has received many awards for his film-making, including: a gold medal at the New York Film Festival; an award from the Festival of Telescience, Montreal; and the CNRS Festival International du Scoop et du Journalisme Scientifique for film Supervolcanoes. Executive Producer Kim Thomas has won five Emmy awards, and the New York Festival Award.

Beautiful, surprising, compelling and above all, relevant, this awe-inspiring series will appeal not just to art lovers, but to anyone who has ever wondered about humanity’s place in the world.

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