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Icarus II by Nicola Godden ARBS

‘Icarus II’ is a large bronze sculpture depicting the well-known character of Greek Mythology; the infamous story of the boy Icarus whose father fashioned himself and his son a pair of wings from feathers and wax for him to escape from Crete. With his father’s warnings not to fly too close to the water as the feathers will clog and not to fly too close to the sun because the wax will melt, he ignored his father’s warnings and flew too close to the sun where the wax melted and he fell into the sea and drowned.

This lost wax bronze sculpture by Nicola Godden is a beautifully cast piece that reflects the story well, the stance of the figure of Icarus is expressive of the grand gesture of escaping, while possessing a note of a rebellious boy showing off his highly detailed wings. The colouration on the work is in keeping with the narrative, the bright white and yellows throughout the wings with the contrasting deep reddish brown throws the visual language into turmoil where the work meets the story perfectly. 

The figure of Icarus is not a detailed recreation, there is not application of personalisation or impressing an individual male upon the story to allow the audience to bring their own thoughts and imagination to the work and allow them to see the story and its characters as they envisage them. This opens the work up to a wider audience; some not being familiar with the Greek myth may see a figure with wings as someone’s representation of man’s desire to fly, desire for freedom or the unleashing of our imagination. The vagueness of the subjects identity is a wonderful way to help an audience engage with the work on a more personal level, allowing different people to see different points of view, of course providing a narrative through the title is nudging the viewer in the intended direction but if the work stands alone for an individual to read it as they choose it is open to all manner of meanings. 

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