In ancient Babylon gods were carved into stone to represent the rising sun in the east and the setting of the sun in the west. These depictions signified the fundamental rule of life, that everything in must come and go. There is no such thing as permanence, everything is constantly changing. The disappearance of the sun and the moon may well have triggered curious minds to invent invisible creatures who might be perceived as shifting the planets. As clouds passed over the sky they formed shapes that triggered the imagination of early humans. These shapes were turned into giants and other hybrid creatures such as the Chinese Awang and the Philippine Tambal, as well as numerous other mythological creatures much like the mythical creatures invented today in movies and video games.
Hybrid goddess of birds.
Early humans were not concerned with art as a thing of beauty, art was a mirror of life and a necessity for interpreting the earth and its inhabitants. Art conveyed the messages that were linked to survival. All forms of communication have since been ascribed in some kind of art form; languages are an art form with many variations and mediums. Historically, art has pointed to the sources of food, to the dangers that might lurk in the area and how to make weapons in order to overcome danger. Today, manufacturers, architects and builders still work from blueprints. Art was also medicine and closely linked to rituals of administration. Shamans summoned the spirits of animals to help in the task of healing humans. Art decorated sacred places like caves, grottoes and covens.
Later art would cover walls of great cathedrals and the tribal shamans changed their dress to long elegant robes donning precious jewels and metals. However, their status amidst the populous has barely changed. Some of the greatest artists are actors.