A skeleton , a pool of water and a powerful environmental message: The creation of the Ice Bear Project

By Mark Coreth
Founder, Ice Bear Project
As a bronze sculptor working in a frozen, icy environment I chose to combine both bronze and ice into one sculpture, two totally incompatible materials… bronze with longevity and ice so delicate. I decided to create a skeleton of a life sized hunting polar bear and sink that into a tank of water, freeze it into a block of ice and then in a very public manner carve the ice into a bear. The result to the public is an Ice Bear, but what people will not immediately see is the complete story. As the ice begins to melt it reveals first visually and then physically the bronze skeleton. Eventually it leaves a skeleton , a pool of water and a powerful environmental message.

(c) WWF-Canada
(c) WWF-Canada

Sculpture is an international language, a language that can readily be understood by all. If we leave the Ice Bear alone it will eventually melt with the cyclical warming of our planet. But as people come up and touch it, the ice melts with the heat of their hand, showing the human impact. You can touch the ice with your whole palm and melt it quickly, or touch it with your fingertip and do minimal damage. There will always be an Arctic, but when the ice goes it will be a very different Arctic, as with my sculpture there will always be a bear, but when the ice goes it will be a very different bear.
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