Freedom medal by Matt Thrash. 60mm
This is the first of a group of medals that are my visual interpretations of Grateful Dead songs that have moved me over the years. I want my medals to talk about Love and positive personal development and push those ideas. This one is based on the pair of songs commonly arranged and played together. Lost Sailor and Saint of Circumstance. Look them up and listen, there is something awesome there!
To me the character in the song isn’t literally a sailor, just someone maybe checked out of society and the price they pay to be gone and re-enter. For me this is best felt on my motorcycle. The time spent blasting out across the desert and mountains getting weathered looking for the answers to the complexities of life.
The reverse shows a skeletal hand reaching out or sharing a rose. Two major iconographic Grateful Dead themes ringed by text. The reverse of this piece holds all the text. Song titles along the bottom half are the road map and above a quote. The quote is from an impromptu line in a live performance recording I heard Bob Weir say in a rap of sorts between songs. “Freedom don’t come easy, freedom don’t come free”, repeated and then he throws in “There are two kinds of freedom, at least…Freedom From and Freedom to Be….” that hit home to me. I love the “at least”, like there may be other types to consider! My daughter asked me what does that mean Dad? I replied, Freedom From could be anything holding you back, illness, addiction, poverty, bad relationships, you fill it in yourself. Freedom To Be….an artist, a long hair, alternative, gay, you tell me, it’s personal. I was moved to build the piece up as a Lost>Saint piece and call it the Freedom medal. The handcuff in the skeletal hand is a nod to the line “may the chains of your dreams be broken”.
The Grateful Dead medals will come housed in a pouch crafted from my own tie dye work. Seems appropriate to me. Although I can reproduce these as time permits, they are all somewhat unique. The piece pictured is the exact item purchased and is in hand ready to ship. Thanks for looking, Matt Thrash