Hyde Park, London has become consecutively popular for the last seven years during the festive period. It holds an event beginning in the final week of November right through until a few days after the New Year, (excusing the 25th) and is socially recognised as Britain’s capital christmas attraction, or more commonly known as ‘Winter Wonderland’.
It began in November 2007 and is positioned in one of the biggest parks in central London, productively resulting in an increase in attention. The temporary attraction included traditional German markets, English cafes and a large cluster of chalets presenting small delicacies. The stalls may encourage Christmas shopping whilst the fun fair may attract the children. People from all over the UK and beyond, travel for hundreds of miles in order to gain a first-hand perspective of the outdoor festivities varying from the carousel bar to the ferris wheel complimented by a petite Russian doll stall. However, depending on the intended itinerary of the visit, it usually determines the attractions that are visited.
The Magical Ice Kingdom on the other hand, is one of the more popular choices as is the Ice skating rink and circus tent due to their unique seasonal purposes and the numerous reviews via the internet; and contributing word of mouth. Supposedly for the purpose of entertainment, pre- booked tickets are essential in order to view the frozen art work and to experience the unique ice bar, which may productively indicate the success of the event also. The intricate ice sculptures that are displayed inside the ‘Kingdom’, reflect the skill, talent and time that’s needed in order to create the fairy-tale figures. These may vary from trolls and ogres to snow carved knights both positioned beneath their castle. Whilst some of the sculptures illuminate bright colours and glow festive shades it merely compliments the simple yet just as effective carvings such as artificial icicles, swans, owls and even a detailed insight of a fish’s scales.
Previously over the last six years, London has also held an annual ice sculpting competition in Canary Wharf. Its location ensured that it may have an enthusiastic and variety of individuals to act as an audience in order to participate in the voting and judging of the competition. The previous contenders consisted of ten international teams representing their own countries, and would sculpt to certain themes such as ‘River life’ and ‘fabulous fashion’. Alongside the competition there have also been workshops referred to as ‘master classes’ which teach the techniques and skills to those with an interest. Most artists shadow a template to begin with, then carve at room temperature ensuring the ice can effectively separate without altering the design. It then comes down to the sculptor and their opinion on how they want the outcome to appear, regarding how much they sand the ice down and whether they want their pieces to look intricate and dainty or deliberately ‘heavy’ and perhaps more abstract.
There are many artists that work with ice and create successful images and pieces through their sculpting such as Nele Azevedo. Azevedo is a Brazillian artist who carved 1000 small figurines sat upon some steps to represent global warming and the ongoing changing weather which he captured simply through the melting of his ice figures.
Another artist that has worked with similar materials is Jim Denevan. He created one of the world’s largest chiselled ice pieces upon a nine square mile Siberian lake based around the idea of the mathematical Fibonacci sequence. He and his team constructed his art in sub-zero temperatures.
In which ways is ice sculpting recognised as a productive form of art and design?