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.

Arborist Jesse Brighten slingshots line up into tree canopy for Pat McVay Icarus Was Here phase 3 at Price Sculpture Forest
Professional arborist launches guide string up and over target branch via ground based slingshot
Arborist Jesse Brighten and Joe adjust cable rigging for Pat McVay Icarus Was Here phase 3 at Price Sculpture Forest
Arborists move sculpture support cables into position
Pat McVay installing new feather for Icarus Was Here phase 3 at Price Sculpture Forest
Pat installing new ground level feather
Pat McVay, Ken Price, and Bob managing cables for Pat McVay Icarus Was Here phase 3 at Price Sculpture Forest
Pat, Ken Price, and Bob Davenport hauling on stainless steel cables that go high in the air
Volunteer Bob helping install feathers for Pat McVay Icarus Was Here phase 3 at Price Sculpture Forest
Bob preparing a feather to be attached to the main support cables
Pat McVay and Scott Price at Pat's new expansion of Icarus Was Here at Price Sculpture Forest
Pat and Scott showing the lower portion of the newly expanded Icarus Was Here

  • March 2021