OTTAWA – A melting iceberg was installed over the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa this past June as part of the museum’s recent survey of indigenous art. Created by Greenlandic artist Inuk Silis Høegh, Iluliaq is a site-specific piece built from 56 panels, each one ranging from 4.6 to 6 meters wide and 18 to 21 meters tall. The installation took 10 days to complete, and together the panels form a towering iceberg over the Gallery’s Great Hall, where a window replacement project is under way. As the window remodeling project moves toward completion, the iceberg will “melt” away along with it, disappearing altogether December 2013.
The panels, constructed of scrim mesh adorned with composite images from photographs taken by the artist’s father (renowned photographer Ivars Silis), are accompanied by a soundscape of crackling ice. The installation provokes viewers to think about their relationship with the natural world, to contemplate the ravages of climate change, and to recognize the fragility and beauty of polar ice caps.