Icarus – Book

Series nameEducation

This black and white book, published by Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Museum is entitled ‘Icarus’. It is the title of a national arts project conceptualised by Juginder Lamba. The story of the mythological figure Icarus, holds particular interest for Juginder Lamba and much of his work is influenced by the underlying concepts of this story. In the ancient myth, Icarus endeavours to fly to the sun but he is destroyed when the heat melts his wings and he falls back down to earth. For Lamba, the myth symbolises the idea of humanity persistently striving for something, which could lead either to fulfilment or to negation. Icarus’ sun became the symbol of human aspiration and Icarus’ fall represents personal failure and tragedy and demonstrates of humankind’s inability to invest in tangible goals or to accept limitations. To Juginder Lamba, Icarus’story also depicts the obsessive human reliance on power. Since 1965, images of Icarus himself, or some of the central issues generated by the Icarus myth, have become a recurring theme in Juginder Lamba’s sculpture and collaborative work with other artists. The ‘Icarus’ Project was a joint project between Juginder Lamba and sculptor Tony Phillips and comprised a series of intensive workshops with local communities, individuals, and artists during 1989 and 1990. The workshops resulted in the creation of large, permanent outdoor site-specific sculptures influenced by the Icarus themes. The project sites were Rathfern Junior School, Catford, London, Bishops Castle Community College, Shropshire, Bilston Community College, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, The Arboretum, Walsall, West Midlands, Urban Wildlife Trust, Birmingham, and Winsford Professional Centre in Cheshire. This book documents the individual ‘Icarus’ sculpture projects around the country and includes an introduction to the project written by Juginder Lamba. The front cover illustration is of the ‘Icarus’sculpture at Walsall Arbretum, and the back cover illustrates a section of the ‘Icarus’project installed at Bilston Community College.

Date of Creation / Publication1989 - 1990
CreatorWolverhampton Art Gallery and Museum
Associated Person/ OrganisationLamba, Juginder
Collection and Reference NumberJuginder Lamba Collection (GB 2661 JL)
Catalogue NumberJL/EDU/4
CopyrightThe Creator and/ or associated person or organisation where applicable.
Access to originalsThe originals belong to Juginder Lamba
Series notesSince 1975, Juginder Lamba has been committed to developing educational opportunities for all segments of the community through his art. Whether at local community or national level, sculpting projects involving schoolchildren or adults provide an informal educational opportunity. The community interaction also informs Lamba.
Collection notesJuginder Lamba was born in Nairobi in January 1948.