This new piece began as a simple homage to the Chinese New Year but throughout the creative process it became much more meaningful than that. I didn't set out to create an inspirational design, but given all that I've been feeling during this particularly hideous election year, it was an inevitable evolution and a cathartic experience at the same time.
My final art is in part an homage to the tenacious spirit of the rooster in the face of adversity. It features a night scene with the central figure of a rooster in mid-crow. He is defiantly poised on a rock in a dark landscape. Above, stars in the sky are echoed in the space between the moon and the ground, suggesting the gleaming eyes of night predators as they float downward in pairs. Lurking in the foreground bushes, we see a hungry fox exposed in his deception, poised to pounce should the opportunity arise. The rooster has no recourse in the dark but to keep crowing, to keep demanding the return of the sunlight.
Around the perimeter of the scene are these original words:
Crow, though the dark night is long—your firesong will yet rouse the dawn.
These words advocate tenacity for any passionate voice in the face of symbolic darkness. The word "firesong" is symbolic of three specific things: 1. It refers to the inner voice, the fire-in-the-belly, the synthesis of passionate cause and individual voice 2. It's a subtle nod to the Fire Rooster of the Chinese New Year and 3. It's a personal reference to my own love of kennings, compound expressions common in Old English and Norse poetry which metaphorically illustrate a thing or concept (see item 1 above).
In a time of unsettling divisiveness and fierce partisanship we're seeing every possible iteration of human frailty and ugliness. In all our battles—big or small—sometimes we need a reminder to hold fast to our goals, defy the night, and crow.
Available as a print in two sizes here.