'Androcles and the Lion' - A signed, limited edition lithographic print by Chris Orr.
"I am fascinated by the idea that a purely altruistic act may bring about an unexpected reward. Of course, if the intention is to bring about a recompense, the act is not altruistic, but in the role of storyteller you can be a detached observer and see the final outcome.
Androcles, with no more thought of gain than flying in the air, parks his bike and extracts the thorn from the Lion’s paw. Other people and animals, the snake, the crocodile and the frog look on in horror. The once fierce Lion evokes compassion.
In my story things didn’t go that well for the Lion. He was captured and put in a circus. Androcles hasn’t made too much of his life either and ends up as an odd job man. Just as the now irascible Lion, tormented and angry, has escaped from his cage there is a moment of recognition. A pause. But here is the rub. What happens next? My print is just 2 frames from a longer story. So, what is the prequel? What is the sequel? I expect my audience to do a bit of work. In all myths there is an economy of information. They lodge deep in us precisely because we supply so much of our own imagining into them.
I am interested in this format where 2 images sit alongside each other and feed us with many possibilities and insights. I am planning a book called “Partners” where the double page spread will set connected but unconnected situations and characters together. Androcles and the Lion has no basis in fact. Of course, animals do remember and respond to people, but the complexity of “gratitude” may be beyond them".