Whidbey star wood artist Pat McVay has taken his sculpture “Icarus Was Here” to new heights (both literally and figuratively) as he viscerally tells the story of Icarus within a huge forest setting. After months of preparation, the sculpture now rises 60 feet into the air and shows Icarus’ melted wax wing feathers cascading down to meet you.
This past week involved much effort by Pat, park volunteers, and two professional certified arborists to put phase 3 of Icarus Was Here in place. Phase 1 was the original sculpture atop a leaning snag tree. Phase 2 was completed a couple months ago, where feathers expanded out laterally from the original sculpture about 10 feet off the ground and also onto the ground. Then Pat went big with phase 3.
To get the stainless steel aircraft cables properly connected to the tree canopy 60 feet up in the air, we hired professional arborist Jesse Brighten and his assistant. They used what was essentially a fancy slingshot combined with excellent aiming skills to get a weighted string over an exact location on a specific strong branch. They then hauled up and positioned custom rigging that expands as the tree branch grows over time, followed by two very long lengths of stainless steel cable for suspending pieces of the sculpture.
Two unexpected glitches later occurred, both up by the rigging 60 feet over our heads. Fortunately, through use of geometry and muscle, we got everything resolved from 60 feet away after a lot of collaborative effort among the volunteer crew. Then, over the course of several days, we arranged and attached a new custom batch of Pat’s hand carved and painted large feathers.
Icarus Was Here now cascades down to you from the heavens. Come visit to see Pat’s creation.