Now that we’re all thawed out after the Polar Vortex, we can appreciate the chilling beauty of these garments frozen in blocks of ice. Artist Nicole Dextras is an ice sculptor–but instead of producing swans for weddings or ice luges for frat houses, she uses ice to create a tribute to her Canadian roots.
Dextras’ Ice Shifts project includes two series so far: Castaways, set in a frozen amusement park on Toronto Island, and Pharos, created for the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa. Both bring to mind images of fossils, or Pompeii, but according to Dextras they are designed to tell stories about the area’s recreational history.
For Castaways, set in a vacant amusement park, Dextras says she “imagined the garments representing the spirits of the amusement park frozen in time. There is a certain pathos associated with an abandoned amusement park, as if the sounds of laughter still hang in the air.”
In Pharos, she recreated the outfits and stances of six dancers and singers from the area’s original carnival. It “represents the passion of those who live in the northern hemisphere, who have adapted to the harsh climate by creating a rich culture of artistic activities during the dark winter months,” she says.