Guy Breay, Invictus (ART, OBJECTS 2022)

Description “Invictus” reflects on a friend who has the perseverance, resilience and fortitude to endure physical and mental pain and still be “The master of his fate and captain of his soul” Specifications Timber: Flame She Oak (Allocasuarina inophloia) Salvaged from our sustainably managed forest at The Stiks. Height: 60 cm Length: 58 cm Width: 230 cm My story of the carving of Invictus Commenced June 2019. I designed and carved the solid, hard wood into a stylised form to depict an ascending archer hunting with a recurve bow. Once the hunter’s form was completed, I began designing the “apertures” which are aligned diagonally, creating flowing lines in an upward direction from the base to reach the highest point at the tip of his left hand which enhances movement. April 2020 The time consuming task of hollowing out the entire sculpture to reveal the negative spaces began. This task required considerable time, patience and focus using keyhole saws, drills and rasps. I started working on perhaps the most difficult inaccessible part first, carving into and between the right arm and body. My concentration must have lapsed and the arm broke off at the shoulder along a fault in the wood. This caused a great deal of consternation and dismay that resulted in me giving up on the difficult project for a while. I started working on other easier pieces to clear my mind. At this time, we were visited by a dear friend who was suffering from the rare, incurable and debilitating disease Churg-Straus Syndrome. In spite of his suffering his attitude was still very positive and cheerful. He inspired me to continue, repair and complete my sculpture. I recommenced and without the right arm in the way, it made it easier to access body. I carved the broken right arm separately. I continued slowly but surely with many interruptions for other work. August 2021 When both the right arm and the rest of the body was carved and sanded inside and out, I decided to rejoin the right arm to the body at the shoulder. I accomplished this by drilling small holes into the wood on both sides of the broken joint in order to increase the surface area and enhance penetration of Techni glue. It was held tightly by masking tape for 24 hours while the adhesion took place. Due to our friend’s predicament and his inspiration, we decided to name the sculpture “Invictus”. We are looking forward to presenting it to him in November.