Zero Celsius. The artist will collect water on a daily basis from the canal in order to produce forms of ice, incorporating melanix mirror, organic material, shredded text and lights, which will melt and transform.
Irma Irsara invites you to witness, explore and be part of an unexpected subterranean landscape in the heart of King's Cross. Through investigation and elaboration of different elements embedded in blocks of ice, artist Irma Irsara will develop an experimental work with ever-changing outcomes. The installation process will be determined by the interaction between the artist, the unique host location and the melting shapes of ice, resulting in a unique participatory experience.
This site–specific intervention, designed to take place in two recently-restored, historic ice wells at the London Canal Museum, will see Irsara absorbing, interacting with and taking advantage of the peculiar aspects and previous function of the location. The former ice warehouse, which houses the museum, was established mid 19th century by ice cream maker and entrepreneur Carlo Gatti, who used the two brick-lined wells beneath the building to store blocks of natural ice brought from Norway via the London canal system.
Irsara will collect water on a daily basis from the canal in order to produce forms of ice, incorporating melanix mirror, organic material, shredded text and lights, which will melt and transform. The ever-evolving composition of ice blocks, at times incorporating video and projected still images, will create a tension between the forms themselves and the surroundings. Ambient conditions, the darkness and the soft roundness and texture of the structure of the wells will influence the configuration of the ice landscape.
Each morning, for the duration of the project, Irsara's descent into the ice wells will be a ritualistic one, before intuition, imagination and creation take over: “The first thing I have to do every morning of necessity is to take the forms out from the freezers and wait. I may clear my mind, let my thoughts wander, I may stare at the wall, contemplate the earthy floor of the well, look at the square opening above, the little entrance to the second well, the subtly changing colours of the humid brickwork. The whole thing is how the work is conceived, how it is developed and how it will eventually disappear again. Every morning, I will envisage the beginning of a new creation.”
The end result of this ephemeral work is inevitable but through the artist's creative process and journey of discovery it aims to inspire the public's imagination. The only certainty is that the ice will slowly melt and, once again, become part of the water cycle, leaving the artwork to finish at the point where it began.
Laura Bottin, Curator
At scheduled times, Irma will be hosting tours of the wells, suggesting ways to observe and experience the artwork and its relation to the architecture of the site. The spectators will witness and influence though their reaction the constant re-invention of this non-permanent artwork.
Follow Zero Celsius on
www.twitter.com/irma_irsara and www.facebook.com/0.celsius
The London Canal Museum
12-13 New Wharf Road - London
Open Tuesdays to Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays
From 10.00 to 16.30. On the first Thursday of each month, open late to 19.30. Last entry 30 minutes before closing.
Adults £4, Concessions (seniors, students) £3, Children £2. Family ticket £10