THE SEARCHER BY ROSS WILSON – CS LEWIS SQUARE IN BELFAST
This sculpture by Northern Irish artist Ross Wilson is an inspired creation based on the character of Digory Kirke, who, in the Narnia story, ‘The Magician’s Nephew,’ features a wardrobe made from a beautiful apple tree which has special properties. It is through this magical wardrobe that the Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, enter Narnia and meet the talking animals and mythological creatures that populate that snowbound world. Modelled on CS Lewis as he was in 1919, the sculpture seeks in the words of the artist, to capture the “great ideas of sacrifice, redemption, victory, and freedom for the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve” that lie at the heart of the ‘Chronicles of Narnia®.’
CS Lewis Square is located at the intersection of the Connswater and Comber Greenways, beside the EastSide Visitor Centre. The square features seven bronze sculptures from ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, including Aslan, The White Witch, Mr Tumnus, The Beavers, The Robin and The Stone Table, it is an interesting display of public art.
Lewis wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio, and cinema. His philosophical writings are widely cited by Christian apologists from many denominations.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis, published by Geoffrey Bles in 1950. It is the first published and best known of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia (1950–1956). Among all the author’s books, it is also the most widely held in libraries. Although it was originally the first of The Chronicles of Narnia, it is volume two in recent editions that are sequenced by the stories’ chronology. Like the other Chronicles, it was illustrated by Pauline Baynes, and her work has been retained in many later editions.
Most of the novel is set in Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures that is ruled by the evil White Witch. In the frame story, four English children are relocated to a large, old country house following a wartime evacuation. The youngest, Lucy, visits Narnia three times via the magic of a wardrobe in a spare room. Lucy’s three siblings are with her on her third visit to Narnia. In Narnia, the siblings seem fit to fulfill an old prophecy and find themselves adventuring to save Narnia and their own lives. The lion Aslan gives his life to save one of the children; he later rises from the dead, vanquishes the White Witch, and crowns the children Kings and Queens of Narnia.
Lewis wrote the book for (and dedicated it to) his goddaughter, Lucy Barfield. She was the daughter of Owen Barfield, Lewis’s friend, teacher, adviser and trustee. In 2003, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was ranked ninth on the BBC’s The Big Read poll. Time magazine included the novel in its list of the 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time, as well as its list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.
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