Saturday, December 07, 2013

Stone, Water and Heaven (Daedalus to Icarus)

Stone, Water and Heaven (Daedalus to Icarus) is one of a trio of Rose Quarter sculptures, along with Little Prince and Terra Incognita. This one is a bit more obscure than the other two, and is probably my favorite of the three. It's smaller, and sits at the corner of N. Winning Way & Center Court St. (and yes, those are stupid street names), streets that only see a lot of traffic on game days. I don't recall ever seeing it (or at least ever noticing it) before I tracked it down for this blog post. It's obscure enough that both the Smithsonian art db (the first link, above), and RACC call it by the wrong name, "Earth, Water and Heaven". The sign next to the piece says "Stone", not "Earth", as does an essay on the artist's website, which suggests to me that "Stone" is the correct name. Sadly (if we're going to be really pedantic about it), neither variation on the name includes an Oxford comma . Sigh.

RACC's description of the piece, wrong name and all:

Earth Water and Heaven (from Daedalus to Icarus), in contrast to the other two sculptures located in the Rose Quarter by Averbuch, is of moderate scale. It is also more quiet and meditative. This work deals with the dichotomy and integration of two different levels of meaning. One is the ring of stone and water tied in an everlasting balance of nature (rivers and mountains, oceans and continents). The other concept is about us as humans and our expressive aspirations for "heaven" represented by the image of a wing - an age-old icon that reappears in many cultures, describing our aspiration for greatness, fantasy and the supernatural. It is about the heroic feathers that we strive to have and that drive us further in life, about our aspirations that rise like the tower of Babylon, and about the actual gravity and balance of the earth that keeps us intact.

The artist's website also mentions a very similar 2003 piece, The Wing and the Ring, located at the city cultural center in Nahariya, Israel. The cultural center was built in the early 2000s and saw scandalous cost overruns, including all manner of lavish (and garish-sounding) furnishings.

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