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Old Friends300: Old Friends

"Old Friends, New Ideas"

Original etching, printed by hand in color.
Currently available archivally matted and framed, 26"x 20" for $500.
By: Christopher Hill Morse

Over the years, my wife and I have tried to answer our self imposed assignment to celebrate our public lands from a number of different points of view. The first images we did as The Oculus Press basically documented public areas. The public seemed to re-live their own tourism as they looked at these. You know, they would point to the etching and say, "Oh, I have been there!" We were a little frustrated that this might be all that they were getting out of the work. We imagined asking "Don't you see the feeling that is in the piece!" We slowly started to introduce some other approaches. I began to do a narrative series with the animals celebrating the protection of the Ragged Mountain wilderness. These became the illustrations for my book Ragged Mountain Revelry. Then I did a small group of strictly confrontational pieces (shuch as Quench) perhaps the result of my turning forty! My wife encouraged me to shift away from them. I started my "catalyst series" which have been both surreal and humorous.

"Old Friends, New Ideas," was the third in my catalyst series. It depicts my hiking light bulb character A. Bulb Body. He is cueing up three roosters to awaken a sleeping figure in the foreground. The light bulb's conductors baton is juxtaposed on Mt. Kearsarge in New Hampshire and approximates the scale of a huge new tower built there recently and creating huge controversy because of its violation of the public land on which it sits. A Bulb Body is about to awaken the sleeping artist (a self portrait), who it is hoped will shed new light on value of the view.


"Artlink 19th Annual National Print Exhibition," Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, 5/8 - 7/7/99.
"National Prize Show," Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, 4/5-5/25/99.
"11th Biennial National Print Show," Payne Gallery of Moravian College, Bethleham, PA, 3/4-4/11/99.