Saturday, January 28, 2017

Odin's Ravens

"Thought and Memory"

 The whole world wide, every morning,
Fly Huginn’s thoughts and Muninn’s memories;

Secrets convey, insight drawn

Ravens gods watch 

Odin, with his allies of solitude
Huginn and Muninn,
Are a Triad of silent scrutiny.

Huginn and Muninn (Hugin and Munin-modern) are the premiere messengers of the supernatural world. In Norse mythology Huginn and Muninn were a pair of ravens who served Odin, and their name's mean is Thought and Memory.

Every morning they left to see what was happening all over the world, and at sunset they flew back to Odin to rest on his shoulders, whispering in his ears all that they had seen., They also symbolize secret knowledge. They were, in fact, the first gods of premonition.

This is one of the most Iconic images in Nordic religion. The two Ravens were Gods, part of a powerful Trinity. Odin was the most revered and was the father of all the Norse gods He is one eyed and was the god of death, war, the sky, wisdom and poetry. He sacrificed his eye to gain wisdom of the ages. Odin’s great quest was for greater knowledge. In Germany, he was known as Woten.  Most of the representations of Huginn, Muninn and Odin depict them atop his throne.
They are often represented with Odin riding a horse as the Ravens flying with him. They are also often shown flying together. My challenge was to create a totally new unique image. I tried several postures for the birds and settled for one at rest and the other active. My big problem was the setting, where can I place them? I wanted my version to be unusual and memorable. I chose the sword because it is so symbolic of the Vikings.
The Viking sword was based on the Roman Spatha, which was a feared weapon throughout ancient Europe. The hilt is unique to the Norse but was adapted by Franks, and Saxons as a standard weapon. The hilt is slightly different with the Franks and Saxons. I used several modern replicas as well as ancient examples for my sword. I wanted it to look well used and very old since Odin was a long-lived God.

I also decided to make my image a diptych rather than one long print. I wanted each raven to stand on their own as well as together. I also wanted to show a little distance between the two bird. When I first published this image online I did not add watermarks and of course it was pirated, mostly by heavy metal bands.
I also got a request from one band to splice the image. This image was used in promotional material. I used this to create a smaller single image version.

In 2011 I decided to submit my prints to the Annual Artists Magazine competition. I fully expected to get rejected. I was thrilled to be a finalist and was awarded an honorable mention and my print was published in the 2011 competition issue. The print is featured in the December 2011 issue of THE ARTISTS MAGAZINE p. 50

“ODIN'S RAVENS” , Huginn and Muninn Etching, 4.5 inch x 10.5 inch 2013 $65.00

 "Thought and Memory" Huginn and Muninn Etching 5 inch x 14 inch 2013
The 2010 plates for this etching are missing so I have remade the plates. Because they are new plates I am issuing a new edition.

“THOUGHT II”- Huginn Intaglio Etching 5 inch x 7 inch 2013
The 2010 plate for this print was lost and I remade the plate. Since it is a new plate I am starting a new edition.

"Memory II "- Muninn Intaglio Etching 5 inch x 7 inch 2013
The 2010 plate for this print was lost and I remade the plate. Since it is a new plate I am starting a new edition.

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