This weeks’ photo challenge is ‘Fall’. Even though I knew that the word ‘Fall’ most probably referred to the season of the year, my first association was the myth of Icarus falling from the sky. The myth in short is: Icarus, together with his father Daedalus, escaped from imprisonment in the palace of king Minoas in Crete. Daedalus – a famous architect and artist of that time, designer of the Labyrinth – had made large wings with bird-feathers glued with wax so that he and his son Icarus could escape by flying out of the prison and away from Crete. He warned his son to avoid flying near the sun: the wax would then melt, the wings would fall apart and he would fall out of the sky and drown in the sea… Which is what happened according to the myth.
Since my childhood in Greece I have been fascinated with this myth. As a child I was the obeying-type; always did what I was told. My first reaction when I heard this myth was shock: that a son didn’t listen to his father in such an important matter! But very soon it changed in believing that this was the most incredibly stupid case of disobedience ever…
But still, despite the stupidity of his act, Icarus fascinated me… he was some kind of a hero. After all, he flew! And, last but not least (also literally in this case), he went near the sun, he almost touched it! That was what I also wanted when I was a child: to fly and to be near the sun… To be honest, I still want it – here in Holland I wonder sometimes if the sun really comes up every day; there is no sign of it most days of the year.
One day I came across a book by Peter Greenaway, ‘Flying over water’ (Merrell Holberton publishers), a really fascinating book! At the end of the preface Greenaway asks the striking question: “After failing to fly, did Icarus fail to swim?” In the beginning of the first chapter he writes: “… Icarus – the first pilot, the first flyer, the first air disaster.”
These words stayed in my mind, I knew I had to make something with this theme one day… Years later, while I was working on my project ‘The Book of Elements’, it suddenly became very clear how these words could be put in a form: by a very simple freeze-the-moment paint-sketch. So this is my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge: the Fall of Icarus or the Fall of a drop of Paint.
Have a nice weekend!