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Jillian Brown

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Jillian Brown | Bath County, VA

The Inventor’s Workshop  

Installation, Size Variable 


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Artist Statement

The Inventor's Workshop

It must’ve been nearly midnight, the candles had all burnt low a while ago, and two of them only trailed up smoke. He leaned in closer to the drawings. Yes, yes...after months of study and planning, He was finally ready to construct his greatest invention yet. It would be dangerous, of that there was no doubt, but it would be worth it when he and his son touched down on ground that wasn’t shrouded in darkness and reeked of blood and rot. 


He sighed and took a step back to admire his work. 


“Yes”, he thought, “come morning, Icarus and I will fly.” 


The entire work is meant to represent the workshop of the great inventor, Daedalus, as he prepares the wings that will ultimately carry himself and Icarus to freedom. It is the last ditch, desperate attempt of a father to save himself and his son. We as the viewers know Icarus’ fate, but there is none of it represented in this work. This piece is about Daedalus and the pride and accomplishment of finally seeing the result of all his studies and labor. The drawings are tacked to the board with push pins nailed in with a hammer. The books and papers on the desk are not tied down in any way, giving the viewer complete freedom to arrange the desk any way they choose, if they wish. This draws the viewer into the scene itself and begs the question of who we are as the viewers. Are we the great inventor himself? Are we the King who imprisoned him, stumbling upon the abandoned place? Are we just some passerby? Or are we Icarus, wandering into his father’s workshop and staring bright-eyed at the wings that were supposed to carry him to freedom?

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