The first sketch of this piece was done at the National Museum of Ireland, when viewing the Derrynaflan Paten. The Paten is a heavily decorated plate, used in early Christian Mass (AD 700-800) to hold pieces of the consecrated Host.
The rim is crowded with tiny, gold filigree beasts and this particular beast caught my eye. I was told later that the original beast is a lion, I still find the stag sketch much more to my liking.
The rest of the design came together after a stay in Killarney National Park. It was October and the Red Stags were belling from hilltop to hilltop. I was told that the stags would thrash their antlers in the underbrush during rut, and would occasionally become entwined in vines, unable to escape. While not a happy thought, it is a powerful one.
21st Century Celts