Mahogany, birch, and far-eastern plywood
Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n!
(Milton, “Paradise Lost”)
Wing has its origins in the paradoxes of mankind’s perennial obsession with flight, propulsion and power.
Ovid told the tale of Daedalus and Icarus, in which overreaching ambition thwarts human ingenuity, leading to a fall. A comparable story is the Bible’s fall of the rebel angels, and it is from narratives such as these that I draw my inspiration.
Where there is ‘flight’, there is always the possibility of ‘fall’. But does that mean we should never fly for fear of falling, or that falling is without purpose, or even that every fall should be final?
While the wing remains the supreme icon of flight, this Wing also shows signs of having been severed from its body, clearly intimating a fall.
Modelled on the classic idea of an angel’s wing, the size of the work, its colour and materiality nonetheless suggest something man-made and beyond the spiritual realm, subverting the more romantic ideas of angels and feathered beings, and highlighting the inventive ingenuity and human yearning that enables flight.