The subject is a part of a fairytale that I used to tell my daughter about the world of ‘the swan kingdom’. In pursuit of the Unknowable, the swan princess is encouraged by the swans to fly. Until ultimately, like Castaneda’s leaping from the cliff, she will learn to shift from matter into spirit and back again as we all must do eventually.” – Michael Parkes
Travelers and visitors are always thrilled to come by the Marcus Ashley Gallery and explore the Michael Parkes art on display. The sculptor is well-known for his imaginary subjects that populate fantastical realms beyond the mortal world.
In Night Flight, Parkes reimagines a character from a fairytale he often recounted to his daughter. He breathes life into the story by sculpting a princess coaxed by a swan to take flight. As she leaps forward, her unkempt hair and delicate yet strong form become one with the sky. The sculptor exacts his prowess in Night Flight, capturing this life-altering moment for the princess in vivid detail.
Parkes compares the sculpture to the moment Carlos Castaneda (a Latin-American writer) was told by his Indian Shaman master, Don Juan Matus, to leap off a cliff. Though Castaneda was terrified, he took a leap of faith and, to his great surprise, discovered he could fly.