• Sharon Ndalilah Nafula

Olafur Eliasson’s Public Artwork Installed to Limit The Effects of Climate Change

“These icebergs didn’t only came here to be beautiful, they’re all carrying a story”


Encountering Climate-Themed art can be said to be very fascinating. It is not only unique in its own way, but educational as well. “Ice Watch” which was installed in London between river Thames and Tate Modern is aimed at limiting the extreme effects of climate change according to artist Olafur Eliasson. The artwork is made out of materials that are years old, long before earth’s atmosphere was polluted by humanity.


The artist is said to have brought 30 icebergs from a Greenland fjord to London, in order to raise awareness about the urgency of climate change. He recovered the blocks from the ocean after they had been detached from world’s largest ice sheet caused by global warming. Using the blocks, Eliasson created a ring of 24 icebergs placed at River Thames, while six others are placed outside Bloomberg’s HQ in the City of London.


Eliasson says that he aims at enabling people experience the touch of ice blocks with the purpose of having change, adding that the work is not only purposed for beauty, but to communicate a message of greatness as well. “These icebergs didn’t only come here to be beautiful, they’re all carrying a story. I hope they will connect people to their surroundings in a deeper way and inspire radical change”.

On December 11th 2018 the installed work unveiled, coinciding with the meeting of world leaders at the COP24, Climate Change Summit in Katowice, Poland. The installation follows that of Copenhagen in 2014 and 2015 Ice Watch installation in Paris. Eliasson’s works serves as constant reminder to humanity on the subject of climate change following a report that was published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report gave a stern warning, that we have only 12 years to limit the worst effects of climate change. Ice Watch is on view in London until December 21st 2018.


While many artworks will be remembered for years, this particular public artwork melting away in Thames, will remembered for its message. To communicate of a world that is different from today’s, for humanity to embrace the changes that can be made to limit climate change.


A world that contains a free and clean atmosphere.

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