Brazilian sculptor Nele Azevedo recently sculpted 5000 figures out of melting ice to represent the civilians that fell during World War I. Poised on the edge of the stairs of Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square, Azevedo’s tiny ice figures sit with legs dangled over the edge. The powerful installation stirred viewers throughout the day as the figures began to melt, representing the fragility of life.
Rather than creating a traditional monument, Azevedo sought to create an installation that reflects the fragility of life. The temporary sculpture change over time, rousing crowds of onlookers with their performative quality. The artist chose to cast his sculptures out of ice instead of clay or cement in order to lend the installation an ephemeral quality that casts a deeper meaning onto the monument as a whole.
The resulting piece was not permanent, but powerful. Dozens of volunteers helped Azevedo place the 5,000 ice sculptures on the square’s steps. Throughout the hot day in Birmingham, the rows and rows of pristine seated figures melted and drooped, as if fatigued or wounded. One figure, made from frozen red ice representing bloodshed, melted into a red liquid that intermingled with the other sculptures. The tribute lasted only part of a day, but its power will be remembered through photographs.
Via Good Mood