Heather Edwards Ltd Ed Canvas Giclee:"God Help the Outcasts -The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
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Heather Edwards Ltd Ed Canvas Giclee:"God Help the Outcasts -The Hunchback of Notre Dame"

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Artist : Heather Edwards
Title : God Help the Outcasts (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Size : 20" x 30" | 24" x 36"
Edition : Limited Edition Signed and Numbered to 295 with 50 Premiere Editions | COA.
Medium : Canvas Giclee
From the Artist : It was a cool November afternoon on a train ride through Paris from Versailles to Disneyland Paris. My husband sat across from me with his eyes closed to rest and my son was next to me, earphones on and glued to his cell phone in an attempt to block out the rest of the world. We’d spent the last few days walking the streets of one of the most enchanting cities on earth, visiting museums, sampling the delectable food and being awestruck by monumental landmarks. I let my gaze wander out the window. Centuries of history rolled by as I sat there and as I recalled the previous few days’ adventures, I couldn’t help but contemplate the struggles, the triumphs and the day-to-day humdrum tasks belonging to the people of this city over the years–which may have presented themselves in different forms, but at their core hadn’t changed in a millennia. Neither were those struggles and triumphs and tasks unique to one group of people. We all experience them in one way or another and, in addition to creating mighty tides that move us within our own sphere of existence, they shape our perceptions of ourselves, others and the world around us.

In the very midst of these thoughts, I saw an image so clear and defined in my mind’s eye so as to cause me to take in a startled breath, for with it came a full understanding of what it meant and why it was that I needed to see it. I knew that I needed to paint what I had seen. Admittedly, I fought to keep my tears hidden during all of this, it was that personally powerful.

The image was of a young Quasimodo, cradling an injured dove in his hands with his beloved cathedral rooftop companions looking on. But there was more to the scene than what may initially be taken in. The entire story unfolding within it revolves around perceptions–and how we allow them, or not allow them, to direct our actions.

Contemplating the characters within the image, it doesn’t take much to see that most, if not all, of them could be considered a rather motley group. “Grotesque” is even a common term used to describe Quasimodo’s three best friends, the chimeras Victor, Hugo and Laverne; and Notre Dame Cathedral, the setting of the image, in all her glory is overrun by their scary stone counterparts. A pair of pigeons, regularly referred to as “rats with wings” join them on the balcony and Quasimodo himself faces a world that views him as a monster and unwelcome. The only character that would be candidly represented as “beautiful” would be the dove.

Being introspective, one might ask, where do I find myself in this picture? Do I see myself similar to the pigeons; despised and not nearly as attractive or appealing as their cousin, the white dove? Am I like Victor and the others who are “unseen” as if they do not exist except to a charitable few and feeling constrained by their invention? Conversely, could it be said of me that, like the other unmoving stone figures, I stand by stoic and unwilling to lend a hand? Or perhaps do I see myself more like the dove, perceived by others to “have it all”, in beauty or charm or symbolic ideal, nonetheless suffering from the knowledge that just like everyone else, there’s a part of me that is broken as well. If akin to Quasimodo, will I see myself as inadequate and unloved, even incapable of rendering compassion, displayed so evidently in the unrefined carved version he has created of himself?

Likewise, how do I perceive others in this picture? Do I envy those who I feel are more revered than I? Do I look down upon those who appear, act or believe differently than I do? Am I willing to accept gentle benevolence, even when I know from whom it comes is younger, less experienced or struggles more than I?

Taking another, closer look at the image, one can see that none of these beautiful souls is allowing their perceptions, whether real or imagined, to hold them back from kindness. They gather around each other, ready to help. I have come to the realization that we all can do the same. It need not be for any other reason than we understand that we are all a bit broken and we all need a little love and nurturing; every one of us is an outcast. ~Heather Edwards
Heather Edwards Ltd Ed Canvas Giclee:"God Help the Outcasts -The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
Canvas Size Option
18 x 24 inches SN Edition (as shown)
27 x 36 inches Premiere Edition, add (+$700)
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