Opening on Wednesday May 21st at 13:30 SLT is a new 3D art sculpture by London Junkers entitled A Dream, the Wings to Fly, located at the torno Kohime Foundation’s 3D Art Gallery and jointly sponsored by the torno Kohime Foundation and Tanalois Art.
It’s a beautifully intricate piece, celebrating the history of aviation and flight. The central element of the sculpture is a jet turbine engine, the blades of which form the two main levels of the piece, connected by a stairway. On the upper section sits an exquisite build which richly encapsulates the dream and reality of flight.
This starts with a sculpture of a bird in flight, the gentle arc of its wings reflected and exaggerated in the arc of the wings of the structure it flies before, and which themselves echo the long history of the dream of flight, when men sought to mimic the shape of a bird’s wing that they might also fly.
At the base of this structure sits the simplest flying machine anyone can make: a paper aeroplane, while above it, continuing the jet aviation theme rises the central spindle of the turbine, passing through another set of turbine blades to support two Spitfire-like aircraft.
But look again, because there is more to be seen here than might at first be apparent. See how the turbine blades are exaggerated in form, twisted into cloudy wisps. Look again at the central turbine spindle rising into the sky, note its shape and the four fin-like supports at its base; here sits not a spindle, but a rocket, pointing to the stars.
And there, at the centre of it all, lies a small, glass Earth, richly symbolic in its placement. It is both the only home we have, a place which aviation and spaceflight have helped us to explore and map and understand as never before. The place our yearning to continue our voyages of discovery longs to one day slip.
There are powerful echoes here: Da Vinci, du Temple, the Wright brothers, Whittle, Tsiolkovsky, Goddard and others; echoes perhaps best summed-up, giving the Spitfire motif, in the words of John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Lizzie Gudkov, London’s SL partner tells me that London hopes the piece will encourage people who visit it to try their hand at flying in SL; that’s not an inappropriate aim. It matches both the aviation theme of the piece and reminds us that Second Life, with all its rich and varied opportunities, allows imagination to truly take to wing, allowing us all to slip the surly bonds of Earth.
A simply beautiful piece, highly recommended to anyone who is either a lover of aviation or whose dreams encompass the freedoms we’re offered through SL.
- A Dream, the Wings to Fly SLurl (Rated: moderate)