Legend recaptures feeling of flight at airport site

01:43, Jan 31 2009
SOARING TO THE SKY: Christchurch sculptor Paul Deans with his 5m high sculpture for the Heartland Sculpture Competition based on the Greek legend Icarus.

HIS bid to fly was thwarted as he soared too close to the sun and his wings melted, yet Richard Pearse Airport could be where Icarus gets to relive the sublime feeling of flight.

Christchurch sculptor Paul Deans has created a 5 metre sculpture of the Greek legend Icarus for the Heartland Sculpture Competition.

His sculpture has been chosen for the Richard Pearse Airport site and was installed yesterday.

Icarus according to Greek mythology, is the son of Daedalus and is commonly known for his attempt to escape Crete by flight, which ended in a fall to his death. His father fashioned a pair of wax wings for them both but warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea.

Overcome by the sublime feeling that flying gave him, Icarus soared through the sky joyfully, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted his wings. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realised that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms.

"The sculpture moves in the wind and the wings are based on the wings of Richard Pearse's aeroplane.


"I am confident his wings will not melt and he will remain flying," Deans said.

He had been working on the concept for over a year after a pilot commissioned him to work on a sculpture which moved in the wind.

"I submitted a design and then was chosen, so with the help of Gary Baynes I created the sculpture."

The sculpture was made out of aluminum and marine ply.

Deans has been a full time sculpture for the past 18 years, based in Christchurch. His father is well known artist Austen Deans.

He studied Industrial Design at Wellington Polytechnics School of Design in 1972 and 1973. He specialises in sculpture and portraits.

His sculpture is one of nine that will be placed around South Canterbury as part of the Heartland Sculpture Challenge. Sculptors have been given $1,000 toward the cost of their sculpture and will go in to win a people's choice award, decided by public vote through texting from the site, and the judges' art award. Both winners will receive $10,000 each in prize money from the competitions sponsor Meridian Energy.

The remaining sculptures are then auctioned with the sponsor of the site getting the first option to buy it and gift back to the city.


South Canterbury