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The paradox of Oscar Wilde
Iqaluit carver celebrates famed Irish author

Daron Letts
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, October 30, 2010

IQALUIT - Danny Osborne shared his latest creative achievement with art lovers in his community last month. The English-born artist unveiled a new jade carving depicting the the face and head of 19th century Irish author, poet, and playwright Oscar Wilde.

NNSL photo/graphic

Iqaluit carver Danny Osborn poses next to a scale carving of the face of 19th century Irish author, poet, and playwright Oscar Wilde. Osborn captured the humorous, confident side of Wilde's flamboyant personality on one portion of the sculpture, and the sad, pained side of his tragic character on the other. - photo courtesy of Danny Osborne

The exhibit was held at Iqaluit's Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum on Oct. 15, the eve of the 146th anniversary of Wilde's birth in Dublin, Ireland. Victorian refreshments, such as cucumber sandwiches and tea, were served. Several of Wilde's pithy aphorisms were shared, as well.

Osborne is now in Dublin installing the new carving as part of a refurbishment project for an existing Oscar Wilde monument he created while living in Ireland in 1997. The life sized statue, made of jade and granite, depicts Wilde reclining on a massive boulder, appearing carefree and irreverent, or exhausted and defeated, depending on the angle it is viewed.

Wilde, who lived from 1854 to 1900, achieved international fame in his youth. His later years were marred by judicial persecution and poverty. Osborne's carving shows Wilde while still in his prime.

The monument is erected in Dublin's Merrion Square, across from both Wilde's childhood home and Ireland's National Gallery.

Osborne, who has created art in the Eastern Arctic since his first visit to Grise Fiord in 1977, moved to Iqaluit from Cork county in Ireland in 2001.

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