Click here to view this artwork, Wings Expanse |  Mongolia, and its currently available sizes.

I don’t often think about leading and following when I am making images. My interactions with people as I travel in the world are symbiotic. I don’t bring a team with me and I prefer a quiet one-on-one setting that is more about learning by observation than concerned with chatter. That’s not to say I do not enjoy gatherings and conversations, but I have to recharge afterwards, which happens most often during walks in nature or rare evenings spent at home minus agendas and obligations.

And so the practice of hunting as a team for prey causes me to ponder this young girl and her golden eagle. She very likely learned her craft from a master: Was it a slow sharing of knowledge, or a hierarchy with barked commands? It occurs to me that there is something unappealing about taking a position of upper handedness, which causes separation and creates a one-way street of interaction. And we all know the discomfort of being cast as a follower if it means being subservient and self-denying.

What was exquisite as I watched this human-animal team was how they too worked in symbiosis. The eagle had been trained to be responsive to the huntress, one could say…but hadn’t the young girl also adapted and learned from her companion? Ultimately, the image provokes wonder in me. That this approximately 14-year-old girl easily holds on her arm the visceral energy and weight of her eagle causes awe.  An eagle’s wingspan can extend up to 8 feet—longer than pro NBA star LeBron James’ remarkable 7 feet wingspan—and yet she stands firm, powerful, unshaken. I am uplifted by their intimate partnership; emboldened to be not a leader or follower but a lifelong learner through observation.

Limited Edition

AVAILABLE SIZES:

18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm)

24 x 32 inches (60.96 x  81.28 cm)

30 x 40 inches (76.2   x  101.6 cm)