Icebergs and Art

Icebergs increasingly capture the world’s imagination. Artists have thus followed this icy trend—and in fact have advanced the global thirst for ice art. Whether it is Zaria Forman’s life-like murals of icebergs or Inuk Silis Høegh’s five-story-tall mesh panel of an iceberg covering the National Museum in Ottowa, Canada, these iceberg exhibits are widespread and only becoming more common.

In December 2018, Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing brought icebergs from Greenland to the Tate Modern in London. But this is not only a new phenomenon. In 1992, Chileans shipped an 80-ton iceberg from Antarctica to Expo ’92 in Spain — to emphasize the beauty of ice but also Chilean engineering abilities. And of course one of the most famous American landscape painters of the nineteenth century, Frederic Church, painted his classic The Icebergs in 1861, which hangs today in Dallas, Texas.

As iceberg art proliferates, it not only reminds the world of climate change impacts (melting ice) but also heightens awareness of both icebergs and glaciers. This can facilitate the understanding of climate change. But it remains important to understand that, for people who live in places like Greenland and Newfoundland, icebergs are part of everyday life. They are part of their identities, part of the landscape — in all their majestic beauty but also as a nuisance for fishing nets and a hazard for ocean travel.

Icebergs, in other words, are not just ornaments and icons for these societies that interact with them all the time.

Here are some links to just a few iceberg artists and exhibits:
Zaria Forman
Sebastian Copeland
Jill Pelto’s Glaciogenic Art
Adriene Hughes and DM Witman’s Icebergs and Wildfires Exhibition
Camille Seaman
Maria Coryell-Martin & Expeditionary Art
Olafur Eliasson
Stefan Forster
James Balog’s Chasing Ice
Benjamin Hardman
Lynn Davis

Iceland 2019 – Photo by Mark Carey.