Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Wolves of Ragnarok

A year and a half ago,  I created Odin’s Raven’s: Hugin & Munin. I greatly enjoyed working with a pairing of mythological creatures who were not only significant to the time and culture that created them but who’s wisdom still rings true today. So I’ve decided to follow it up with another powerful duo from Norse mythology, the Wolves of Ragnarok: Skoll and Hati. Just as Odin’s Ravens are a symbol of curiosity, awareness and the thirst for knowledge, The Wolves of Ragnarok are a symbol of endings, reminding us to live life while we can.

Wolves-of-Ragnarok-ETSY

Wolves appear in many mythologies but nowhere are they more central than in the ancient Scandinavian tradition and few events in Norse myth are as central as Ragnarok. It is the end of the world (literally “Twilight of the Gods”) and several wolves play key roles in the story.

So, who are Skoll and Hati?

Skoll and Hati are massive wolves who run through the heavens chasing the sun and moon. When Ragnarok is upon the world, they will catch their prey and swallow them whole, marking the end of the world we know and paving the way for a new world to begin.

However, this sobering image is not as bleak as it appears at first glance. Consider that the Norse gods know Ragnarok is inevitable – it will come no matter what they do – and when it comes, they too will cease to exist, pulled back into the chaotic void of Ganungagap from whence our universe was created and to which it must return. Yet they do not allow this fact to stop them from working hard to delay it, building up their world, finding joy, love, honor and adventure, engaging in everything life has to offer. In this sense, the symbol of Skoll and Hati as harbingers of unavoidable doom stand as a reminder that all things end and that we should use every moment we have on earth to the fullest.

About the art

This layered relief is created from four separate castings using cold-cast nickel silver, brass, copper and stone. Patinas, stains, inks and/or paints are applied and the individual pieces are buffed to bring out highlights. They are then assembled, clear coated and mounted in a black, glassless shadowbox. Wolves of Ragnarok: Skoll and Hati is limited to 150 signed and numbered pieces and is available here. I am also reserving a small number of matched sets that will include Odin’s Ravens and Wolves of Ragnarok with matching edition numbers.

Wolves-and-Ravens

Digging a little deeper into the story of Skoll and Hati…

The Eddic poem Grímnismál has a few passages that refer to Skoll and Hati. Here is the one that inspired me to create this piece (translated into English):

Skoll is the name of the wolf
Who follows the shining priest
Into the desolate forest,
And the other is Hati,
Hróðvitnir’s son,
Who chases the bright bride of the sky.

It is worth noting that “Hróðvitnir” (loosely translated as “Famous Wolf”) refers to Fenrir, Loki’s son. Fenrir is the enormous wolf who himself will be the death of Odin at the time of Ragnarok. It is therefore Hróðvitnir’s (Fenrir’s) children (Skoll and Hati) who will swallow the sun and moon. There is some dispute among academics as to which of these celestial wolves chases the sun and which the moon, and there is an interesting article on this dispute to be found here.

So, take the message of Skoll and Hati to heart and seize life while you can.

~Aric

Spring (Show Season) Has Sprung

I began my Spring show season this past weekend with the Great Lakes Art Fair in Novi, Michigan. It being my first indoor show, I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect – but, Michigan weather being what it is, I ended up being quite thankful to have a roof over my head. Even so, I managed to get thoroughly soaked in freezing rain during “load out” when a misbehaving dolly with four bins of packing supplies and tent parts decided to tip and I was left scrambling to get everything back onto the dolly while I still had feeling in my fingers.

Mishaps aside, the event proved to be a great way to kick off the season and I was honored when the jury awarded me second place at their “Best of Show” ceremony Saturday night (banner photo is of myself and the event’s director, Jackie McMahon.) Prize money and fancy ribbon aside, the most meaningful thing to me is the knowledge that my work is connecting with patrons and fellow artists – that’s the .

As it stands, I’ve purposely kept my spring schedule light so I can concentrate on sculpting a few more pieces in time for the summer lineup – which is booked solid. So, the two shows I will be doing in May/June are:

East Lansing Art Festival Logo

May 21-22, 2016, I will be returning to one of my favorite spring shows in Michigan, the East Lansing Art Festival. Live music, good food and a ridiculous amount of high-quality fine art awaits the 70,000+ people who annually attend this event.

FSAF_logo

June 25-26, 2016, I will return to my home away from home (Chicago) and participate in the Fountain Square Art Festival in Evanstan, Illinois. For three decades, Fountain Square Art Festival has won acclaim as one of the most prestigious art festivals in the Midwest. It’s the largest and oldest juried fine arts fair on Chicago’s North Shore and I am delighted to be a part of it.

So, if you will be in the area for either of these shows, please stop by, see some great work by artists from all over the country.

Arts Illiana Gallery pic

Lastly, as a reminder, the CROW SHOW will soon be in its final week and will close on April 22.

~Aric