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Original etching, printed by hand in color. By: Christopher Hill Morse
It is currently available archivally matted and framed, 30" X 24" for $650.
America's National symbol of pride and freedom, the eagle, is the central player in "Freedom." Having given this animal such weight, is it even possible to see this bird as just another fish eating predator? By making the eagle a symbol and elevating it to this extent, do we sperate it from its habitat and ignore its real needs or do we give it a disproportionate amount of attention ignoring less popular animals and larger environmental patterns? Is it possible even to understand the eagle for just what it is, or does our understanding of the eagle become limited and our feelings defensive because it is our Nation's symbol?
"Freedom" asks other questions as well. The eagle has targeted the rise of the trout; approaching from such a low angle the eagle is unable to see that the trout has moved along. Do we attempt to explain and quantify Art, or can we feel Art as a force that constantly inspires -- more of a verb than a noun? The trout has long been my personal symbol of life, in this way it is a symbol for the artist in this piece. Do we stop the artist with our expectation for explanation, or do we work with the energy of their inspiration applying it to our own circumstances? Having made a work with great impact, does the world separate the artist from its environment, plucking him from his world like the eagle plucking the trout to feed his own needs? There often is a delicate balance between artistic freedom and real communication. While exciting powerful feelings the artist is often misinterpreted. Is freedom a fleeting feeling that we often give up to schedule our lives in every way? Are we so aware of the world beyond our own little pond that we prevent ourselves from our best expression?
Even though the rings are fixed in the image we know that they are ever expanding. Now the trout has moved along.
"22nd National Print Competition at Artlink," Fort Wayne, IN, 5/24 - 7/2/02.