Daedalus and Icarus
Du Pont Canada, Mississauga ON
In Daedalus and Icarus – 1987, artist William McElcheran has created a work from Greek mythology that has relevance to present day truths. To underscore the timelessness of the legend, the father, Daedalus and his son, Icarus have modern features and clothing.
The story of Daedalus is one of innovation. This enduring legend symbolizes the human spirit - daring to dream of things beyond known limits and striving to make those dreams a reality. The myth tells us to try to understand the forces of nature, to harness them and invent technologies to serve our needs, and it also warns us to be careful.
Daedalus was the archetype of the modern inventor, the modern engineer. His feats of invention, symbolized in his wings of wax and feathers, encourage us to use scientific knowledge to our advantage.
His son, Icarus, was foolish and proud and stands as a timeless warning of what happens to those who do not use technology carefully. In this sculpture, the ancient Greek figures offer a modern message about innovation, risk and caution.
First modelled in clay, the pieces were then cast in bronze by the skilled craftsmen and finishers at the Founderia d'Arte Massimo Del Chiaro in Pietrasanta, Italy.
The materials are bronze and marble. The two bronze figures are slightly larger than life size, and weigh a combined 900 kg (2000 pounds). The wings of Icarus, who seems to soar from the marble pedestal, rise 7 meters (22 feet) above the ground floor. His father, Daedalus, stands watching him from a base that is raised 6 inches from the surrounding floor.