We have recently removed this sculpture into secure storage to allow redevelopment of the immediate environment but will be reinstating it once it is safe to do so. We regularly maintain over 80 public sculptures, fountains and plaques including this sculpture, erected in memory of Bernard Sunley (1910–1964), a prominent property developer.
The sculpture is by British artist Michael Ayrton (1921-75) and dates from 1973. This is a prime example of this late period of Ayrton’s work. A large majority of his work was centered on the myth of Daedalus and Icarus (the City also owns his 'Minotaur').
Ayrton worked in a multiplicity of avenues such as painting, sculpture, stage design, writing (he was the art critic for the Spectator), illustration, and radio broadcasting. Despite his frequent battles with illness, he traveled extensively and had a prolific career. His work is to be found in important public collections, notably the Tate Gallery, London and the MOMA in New York. There is a second example of this variant in the RAF Museum in Hendon, but on a smaller scale.