Two weeks ago I attended the unveiling of a bronze sculpture that I have followed through it’s entire birth and development. Friday was the big day, the day the artwork presented itself to the world.
Raven Awakens is a life size bronze of a large black raven perched on a large tree stump, stretching it’s wing and looking backwards in a manor that is a typical posture for such birds but which is not the normal behavior that most of us think of when we think of crows.
That’s kind of the way it is with the man who created it too.
I’ve known Jim Callahan for nearly 20 years, and in that time I’ve known him to be steadfast, consistent, filled with integrity and humor and a man that takes life seriously without being stupidly serious. I’ve known him to be a friend of animals and people, and a perpetually curious mind that is astonishing in its ability to notice and to make meaning out of what it notices.
14 years ago my friendship with Jim, and my interest in his work, led me to the idea that I should make a film about his work and how it relates to the ways of the rest of his life. At the time, Jim was skeptical both of the idea and of the thought that there might be anyone who would actually have any interest in watching a film about his life and thought.
The film making took several strange turns and almost never came to conclusion. For several years it felt like all the gods of art and fire were against us as proposed film projects shifted, and life transitions found their way into the mix… but on January 15th Jim’s latest sculpture, Raven Awakens, and the film of the same name, found their way into the world at a fun little gallery behind Jim’s foundry and studio in Sonoma.
Raven comes into the world as one of the great tricksters and transformers of mythology and compels us to do something. Of his own accord, Raven Awakens into our reality and calls us, indeed SHOUTS at us, to awaken ourselves.
Raven tells you, like Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo, that you must change your life.