A Myth and a stretch!

My friends at Goose Creek Studio in Bedford, VA are often challenging me to try new things and to create something out of my ordinary for their quarterly challenge shows. The Phoenix was  created for their Show MYTH coming up November through December. I was also moved by a friend to create a second piece. And so I have created a Thread painting/ Wall hanging based on the tale of Icarus.

I always loved to idea of Daedalus creating wings to fly. But only when I went back to research the original Greek myth did I learn all the darker arts of it.

Pasiphae was the daughter of Helios, the Sun, andPerse of Oceanid. Her origins were in the East,  she was given in marriage to King Minos in Crete.

Because of an argument with Poseidon, she was cursed with the lust for a white wild bull sent by him to torture her desires.  Daedalus was known as a gifted architect and  inventor, and she had him craft a mechanical cow statue in which she could be hidden in order to copulate with this wild bull. the result of this bestiality was said to be the Minotaur. He was a being half man and half bull. Know to be ferocious and man eating and  indestructible.

 

King Minos and Daedalus had great understanding as Daedalus had created the plan for the Minoan Palace of Knossos, one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete and Greece today. It was a magnificent architectural design and building, of 1,300 rooms, decorated with stunning frescoes and artifacts, saved until today. The sculpture of Ariadne in Knossos and many others in Elounda and Karia are also his.   But their relationships started deteriorating at some point; some blame him building the mechanical bull.

King Minos wanted a building suitable to imprison the mythical monster Minotaur, and according to the myth, he used to imprison his enemies in the labyrinth, making sure that they would be killed by the monster. He hired Daedalus to create the Labyrinth pattern and build it for him

Minos afterwards, since Daedalus was the only human alive that knew the labyrinth’s secrets, King Minos  imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in a secluded and unapproachable tower.

The Flight Of Daedalus And Icarus

Icarus was the young son of Daedalus and Nafsicrate, one of King Minos’ servants. Daedalus was way too smart and inventive, thus, he started thinking how he and Icarus would escape the Tower He also knew that the shores of Crete were perfectly guarded, thus, they would not be able to escape by sea either. The only way left was the air.

Daedalus managed to create gigantic wings, using branches of osier and connected them with wax. He taught Icarus how to fly, but told him to keep away from the sun because the heat would make the wax melt, destroying the wings.

Daedalus and Icarus managed to escape the tower and flew to the sky, free.

Icarus’ Death

Although he was warned, Icarus was too young and too enthusiastic about flying. He got excited by the thrill of flying and carried away by the amazing feeling of freedom and started flying high to salute the sun.  His father Daedalus was trying in vain to make young Icarus to understand that his behavior was dangerous, and Icarus too late saw his wings melting and dissolving. Icarus fell into the sea and drowned. The Icarian Sea, where he fell, was named after him and there is also a nearby small island called Icaria.

The story of Icarus is often told today as a story of the penalty of hubris. In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride combined with arrogance. It would be easy in today’s political scene to tie this piece to the current world.  But I see the myth as having another more important lesson to overcome.

Many teachers and mothers used that tale to control. They convince their children not to risk, not to try to fly too high, to do too much. To be like Icarus is to reach higher than you are, to want more than you allotment or caste allows.

I think we have to look past that fear factor of THE FALL OF ICARUS and learn that to try is always to take flight. Nothing is achieved without risk. but what if you succeed???

And so I created The Fall of Icarus to remind us of the glory of that moment…

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Create Beauty and Fill the World with LOVE!

Wynn

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