Name of Sculpture: Embracing Eos
Materials: Wire and Steel
Description: A male figure reaching for the sky
Location: Haliburton Sculpture Forest; Waterfront Trail
Installation Date: June, 2004
Number on Map: 13
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About the Artist:
Charles O'Neil is a full-time artist living and working in the Haliburton Highlands. With a background in classical life drawing and painting, Charles earned many awards for his painting in juried competitions during the 1980's. By the 1990's Charles became interested in three dimensional sculptures and moved into the use of metals. With some artist blacksmithing techniques Charles developed a method of creating sculptures of wire commonly found at most building supply companies. Although subject matter of his sculptures varies widely, the human form has always been his main interest. Relieving the arts should not be taken too seriously; Charles strives to include a touch of humour in his work.
With a long association with the Haliburton School of the Arts, and Sir Sandford Flemming College, Charles earned a Visual and Creative Arts diploma and an Artist Blacksmith Certificate. He became a faculty member in 1997, teaching both teens and adults wire sculpture, drawing, and painting. Charles is also an active member of the Haliburton Guild of Fine Arts, the Ontario Crafts Council, and the Craft Association of British Columbia.
Charles O'Neil is presently showing his work in many galleries across Canada. His work can be found in galleries in Ottawa, Haliburton, Port Carling, Bracebridge, Toronto, and Vancouver. Acceptance of his work is international and is held in many private and corporate collections in New York, Southfield Michigan, London, England, Paris, France, Brisbane, Australia, and throughout Canada.
This sculpture depicts a man facing due east, with his arms raised high, greeting the moring sun and embracing the rosy-fingered goddess of the dawn, Eos. According to Greek mythology, Eos rose up into the sky from the river Okeanos at the start of each day, and with her rays of light dispersed the mists of the night. She was sometimes depicted riding a golden chariot drawn by winged horses, at other times she was shown borne aloft by her own pair of wings. Eos had an unquenchable desire for handsome young men, some say as the result of a curse laid upon her by the goddess Aphrodite.
The store of the man depicted in Embracing Eos is unlcear. Does he simply admire the beauty of Eos as she rises each morning? Was he one of her past lovers? Or is he another young man about to fall victim to her lust?
Being a sculpture of black steel and dark wire, Embracing Eos can be difficult to see in the evening twighlight. Some visitors have had such a difficulty spotting the sculpture that they believe is has disappeared. Perhaps the scultpure is just hard to see in the evening, or perhaps the man of metal does leave at night, only to reappeard in the morning to greet his seductive Eos.