Ice Bear Project in Copenhagen and London
The Ice Bear Project, by British sculptor Mark Coreth and team, features a carved polar bear statue of ice melting over ten days to reveal a sculpted bronze skeleton. The Ice Bear Project was first mounted in Copenhagen in association with the WWF “Arctic on the Edge” photography exhibition held during the United Nations COP15 Climate Change conference. A second sculpture is currently on display in Trafalgar Square, London.
British sculptor Mark Coreth developed the shape of the original Ice Bear skeleton in his London studio using plaster and armature. The skeletal sculpture was over three metres long and 1.8 metres high, the size of an adult male polar bear. The 500 kg bronze skeleton was then encased in a ten tonne block of ice, ready for carving on Nytorv Square in Copenhagen.
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Mark witnessed the effects of climate change when he first travelled to Baffin Island during November 2007. He knew that few people would ever experience the Arctic for themselves, but realised that he could bring the Arctic to everyone in the form of an Ice Bear sculptural event.
In May 2009, to prepare for his exhibition on the Arctic, renowned animal sculptor Mark Coreth set off across the Baffin Island sea-ice in search of polar bears. Local guides took him and filmmaker, Oliver Parker, across a breathtaking environment of frozen sea. The more Mark immersed himself in this landscape, the more he felt his mission must be to capture its essence in a very public sculpture. He realised that he must craft a life-size polar bear made from this landscape; from ice, with a skeleton that would be revealed as this iconic animal melts.
Observers are encouraged to be interactive with the sculpture. Anyone who touches it will help change the shape and represent the human aspect of warming the planet. “We hope that this creative act will bring home to each person how humanity has the power to affect the delicate balance of nature,” said Coreth.
The Ice Bear Project was sponsored by WWF International, Panasonic, Nokia and Polar Bear International (Copenhagen), WWF UK, Marks and Spencer, and Arts Council (London).