Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flying high

Icarus Series [Jan Brown. 2009. Bronze]

From the plaque:
These four bronze figures are inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Icarus. In this story Icarus' father, Daedalus, created wings made from feathers and wax for himself and his son to flee from captivity on the island of Crete, Icarus is warned by his father not to fly too close to the sun or the sea. However, exhilarated by the experience of flight Icarus flies too high, his waxen wings melt and he falls to his death. Brown's sculpture encourages sympathy with Icarus' unbridled exuberance and an acceptance of its inevitable tragic consequences.

This sculpture is located in Petrie Plaza, near the intersection with City Walk.

A government media release at the time the sculpture was installed reads:
Stanhope and community celebrate Icarus series
Released 16/12/2009

Canberra's community today celebrated the arrival of the city's newest street artwork, the highlyanticipated Icarus Series by local artist Jan Brown OAM.

Chief Minister and Minister for the Arts and Heritage, Jon Stanhope, said the launch, at 9.30am (December 16) in Petrie Plaza east, between Bunda Street and the Merry-Go-Round, had been an ideal opportunity for hundreds of city shoppers, workers and visitors to share in this historic occasion.

He said the site was chosen specifically for its highly visibility and high-traffic areas for pedestrians.

"The Icarus Series consists of four cast bronze figures merging bird and human forms inspired by the Greek myth of Daedalus and his son Icarus, as well as local Canberra birdlife.

"These 1.8m to 2.6m high clay figures are striking and were made in Canberra at the Australian National University Sculpture Workshop before being cast in Melbourne.

"I was pleased to see so many people here to celebrate the arrival of this remarkable series," he said.

"I am delighted to welcome the first work by Jan Brown to the ACT public art collection and encourage Canberrans to embrace this vibrant addition to the city centre," said Mr Stanhope.

Jan Brown studied under the revered English sculptor and artist, Henry Moore, and has been exhibiting in group and solo shows nationally and internationally since 1949. Since then she has earned herself a reputation of being one of Canberra's great artists, teachers and mentors.

Mr Stanhope said "She is respected throughout the arts community for her dedication to the visual arts and her many endeavours on its behalf. She is a member of the Order of Australia and an Emeritus Fellow of the Australia Council."

Her work is represented in the collections of the Australian National University, Artbank, Parliament House, the Legislative Assembly for the ACT and the National Library of Australia.

The artist generously donated a major collection of her work to the Canberra Museum and Gallery, which also houses ciment fondu versions of the Icarus Series.

1 comment:

Stefan Jansson said...

Looks more like four old guys standing around waiting for something to happen!