Depict the Folly of Environmental Destruction
by Tafline Layline 01/05/12 for Inhabitat
Environmental artist Nicole Dextras
builds giant words made of ice in the heart of vulnerable and often cold landscapes. She does this by constructing wooden letter frames anywhere from 18 inches to 8 feet tall that she then fills with water and leaves outside to freeze. Two weeks later, once the words are solid, Dextras removes the frames and leaves her frozen sculptures
at the sun’s mercy. Eventually they melt – which she says subverts the power of the English language and commercial signage by depicting how vulnerable they are. Hit the jump to learn more about these incredible monuments of folly, which have been erected on Lake Ontario
, the Yukon River
, and in downtown Toronto.
Dextras capitalizes on the notion that a single word or set of words juxtaposed against a certain backdrop can create a lasting impression that hopefully shifts people’s awareness of their environmental impact. Nothing is quite so striking as the word CONSUME built in ice and decorated with blue food coloring set against an ugly, half-finished city skyline, or the word RESOURCE limp and melting in a whitewashed northern landscape
– one of the last frontiers that corporations are already eyeing.
The artist uses a range of styles, sizes, and words to complete her sculptures, and often works in environments that are so cold her camera equipment freezes up. The VIEW project on Lake Ontario took a full month to complete, so these are serious endeavors that require a great amount of dedication. What we love most about these structures is that they are temporary and so richly symbolize just how fragile all of life really is – particularly if we take it for granted.