Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Sydney Ice Bear is arriving tomorrow

The Sydney Ice Bear is finally about to happen tomorrow, Friday June 3rd! I first came across this wonderful project in late 2009 when my sculptor friend Mark Coreth was developing it for the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December of that year. It ended up being the centrepiece of the WWF exhibit there and seemed to be the back drop to almost every news story from the Summit. Thence to Trafalgar Square in London, and Toronto, Montréal and Manchester.

Mark’s concept, drawn from watching polar bears in the wild in Canada, was to create an ice sculpture that people could touch, thus allowing them to metaphorically touch the Arctic, feel the problem of climate change, and be inspired to become part of the solution. So tomorrow a block of ice, weighing 9 tonnes and containing frozen in it the bronze skeleton of a polar bear, will be placed in Customs House Square in Sydney. From 7am Mark and his team will carve it into the shape of a polar bear, which will take about 4 hours.

With the inconclusive result of Copenhagen, the heart went out of the climate change debate, and getting funding for such a project proved nigh impossible in Australia. So it’s been fantastic to have found the wholehearted support of Rob Purves and the Purves Environmental Fund to make this happen. Rob has been tireless in his efforts to promote this project, working with Momentum2 to raise funds off the back of it for WWF- Australia, 1millionwomen and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. It’s a complete eye opener how this world of not-for profit fund raising around environmental issues works, I can tell you!

Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures of the bear arriving and being carved.

But for today check out this promo the National Geographic have done for us, and if you are in Sydney do come on down to see the Sydney Ice Bear at Customs House.

Julian Bickersteth
Managing Director

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