Hunting the Wren
24 x 42" acrylic on un stretched canvas. Part of the Flora and Fauna series created in Listowel, Ireland.
Original description here:
“ This third and final big piece of mine hearing is called Hunting the Wren, after a Dec. 26th tradition they hold here of the same name. The tradition pre-dates Christianity and is where a group of Wren Boys go to hunt a wren and tie it to a pole to lead through the streets. Twice, the wren (“wran”) has betrayed Irish armies, once by alerting and leading the opposing Viking armies to defeat them and then by betraying St. Stephen by beating its wings against their shields and giving away their hiding place.
There’s also a myth here that the wren is the kind of birds because one day all the birds decided there should be a king and they competed to see who could fly the longest and the highest. The eagle of course flew the highest but then got tired with his big and bulky body. All the whole, the wrens were hiding in his feathers and rode his coattails and once they saw their chance, then continued to fly higher and farther, thus earning the championship.
They are believed to be messenger to the gods and are associated with spring and rebirth. I feel like humans do so much damage to the earth and to animals, I wanted to celebrate something that has been long revered to have allegedly outsmarted humans, by divine order, beyond what we can understand is good or bad and winning or losing with its wild shrill call.”