A new public art installation made up of melting ice blocks which aims to show the reality of climate change has been unveiled in London.
Ice Watch, by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafus Elisasson, is made up of blocks of ice from the waters of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland, where they were melting into the ocean after having been lost from the ice sheet.
There are 25 blocks arranged in a circular formation outside the Tate Modern, where there will be a major exhibition of Eliasson’s work next year, and six in the City, outside Bloomberg’s European headquarters.
The project has been supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable endeavours of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Speaking at the launch, the politician and UN special envoy for climate action said the work “highlights the urgency of climate change in a vivid and powerful way”.
Members of the public will see the effects of climate change on the ice blocks as it thaws and melts away.
Depending on weather conditions, it is expected to be on display until December 21 and Bloomberg said he hopes the work will inspire “bolder and more ambitious actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by government, businesses and communities”.
It has been launched to coincide with the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice in Poland.
Eliasson, who worked with geologist Minik Rosing on the project, said: “It is clear that we only have a short period of time to limit the extreme effects of climate change.
“By enabling people to experience and actually touch the blocks of ice in this project, I hope we will connect people to their surroundings in a deeper way and inspire radical change.
“We must recognise that together we have the power to take individual actions and push for systemic change. Let’s transform climate knowledge into climate action.”
The installation follows other Ice Watch projects in Copenhagen and Paris, which were also timed to coincide with a global climate change event.