MICHELLE OGUNDEHIN

Delving deeper than decor to explore the power of home as a path to wellbeing #happyinside

December 14, 2018

Ice Watch

I refer to the catastrophic consequences of climate change in my post about Living Coral, Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year. It therefore feels appropriate to share some of the images, and a beautiful video, of ‘Ice Watch’. This is an installation by the extraordinary Studio Olafur Eliasson in collaboration with geologist Minik Rosing. A poignant visual statement about something that’s very much  happening on our watch.

As Eliasson says, ‘It’s clear that we have only a short period of time to limit the extreme effects of climate change. By enabling people to experience and actually touch the blocks of ice in this project, I hope we will connect people to their surroundings in a deeper way and inspire radical change. We must recognise that together we have the power to take individual actions and to push for systemic change. Let’s transform climate knowledge into climate action.’

Video by Frank Haugwitz and Jørgen Chemnitz on behalf of Studio Olafur Eliasson

the concept

The installation coincides with a meeting of world leaders at the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland. This follows the landmark report published October 2018 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning that we have only 12 years to limit the worst effects of climate change.

The installation is in two parts. 24 blocks of ice from the waters of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland, where they were melting into the ocean having been lost from the ice sheet. They are arranged in a circular formation on Bankside outside Tate Modern. (A major exhibition of Eliasson’s work opens here in July 2019). A further six blocks are on display in the heart of the City of London outside the European headquarters of event sponsors, Bloomberg. The idea is that as the ice gradually melts, “members of the public have an opportunity to encounter the tangible effects of climate change”.

Depending on weather conditions, Ice Watch is expected to be on view in London until 21 December 2018. Any remaining ice goes to local community and cultural institutions as part of an extended educational programme.

Ice Watch, created by Eliasson from 24 blocks of ice taken from the waters of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland, in collaboration with geologist Minik Rosing to inspire public action against climate change, London. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Ice Watch, London. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Ice Watch, created by Eliasson from 24 blocks of ice taken from the waters of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland, in collaboration with geologist Minik Rosing to inspire public action against climate change, London. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Ice Watch, London. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Ice Watch, created by Eliasson from 24 blocks of ice taken from the waters of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland, in collaboration with geologist Minik Rosing to inspire public action against climate change, London. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

Ice Watch, London. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

the artist

Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson’s creates art driven by his interests in “perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self.” Art, for him, is “a crucial means for turning thinking into doing in the world”. His 2003 installation ‘The weather project’, at Tate Modern London, was seen by over two million visitors. And Eliasson work spans sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installation.

The artist Olafur Eliasson. Ice Watch, created by Eliasson from 24 blocks of ice taken from the waters of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland, in collaboration with geologist Minik Rosing to inspire public action against climate change, London. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

The artist Olafur Eliasson. Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

the studio

Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen are founders of the social business Little Sun, which encourages sustainable development through sales of Little Sun solar-powered lamps and chargers (littlesun.com). Two years later, Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann start Studio Other Spaces, an international office for art and architecture, in Berlin in 2014 (studiootherspaces.net). Eliasson’s work ‘Your double-lighthouse projection’ (2002) is at Tate Modern from 17 December 2018 to 3 February 2019, with a major exhibition of his work at the museum on 11 July 2019. olafureliasson.net

the scientist

Minik Thorleif Rosing Professor of geology at the Natural History Museum of Denmark at Copenhagen University. A participant in the geological exploration of Greenland, he is world famous for having backdated the origin of life on Earth by several hundred million years.

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Writer, Author, Brand Consultant & TV Presenter

Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.