Meet Polo, the 8-foot-tall aluminum polar bear that now lives in Manchester, U.K. A seasonal gift to the city from creative firm Lazerian and commissioned by area property developer New Bailey, Polo greets visitors with a rare face-to-snout opportunity and even lights up to bring an element of joy and wonder to dark winter evenings. The faceted bear statue took four weeks to build and required a very large truck to deliver its new domain in the centerpiece of the New Bailey development on the Manchester/Salford border where Polo will remain until early 2017.
Polo (a name earned through a social media contest) stands 8 feet (2.5 meters) tall, nearly 20 feet (6m) long, and 6 feet (1.8m) wide. The project takes advantage of the bear structure’s angled shape with an illumination effect that transforms the metal polar bear into a starry constellation. Although the sculpture doesn’t mimic a specific constellation from our galaxy, the creative reference isn’t lost.
Manchester’s very own polar bear ambassador is a green project, too. Each of the LEDs positioned around the bear is run on solar power, which is generated right at Polo’s feet. The solar energy components are hidden at the base of the structure, disguised as a block of aluminum “ice.” The system is programmed to automatically turn the light display on when darkness falls, and it generates enough energy to light up the “Great Bear” constellation all night.
“It’s easy to say ‘there’s nothing we can’t do’ but when you make an 8ft Polar Bear you’re entitled to think that anything really is possible,” said Liam Hopkins, founder of Lazerian. “The reaction to the installed bear has been phenomenal, proving a real hit on social media, which is a big part of the effect that clients like New Bailey want to encourage as they make unmissable art and design, that people feel they can interact with, a vital part of the experience of living and working in new, contemporary city environments.”
Images via GS Visuals