People & Culture

Bill Lishman to create huge outdoor iceberg sculpture for Museum of Nature

  • Jun 09, 2015
  • 347 words
  • 2 minutes
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A stainless steel iceberg is coming to the lawn of Ottawa’s Museum of Nature.

Canadian artist William Lishman designed the 40-foot sculpture, which he hopes will be installed later this year, before snow is on the ground. Both Lishman and the museum’s CEO hope the piece, which will be large enough for people to walk under and explore, will encourage dialogue about the Arctic.

“Most people don’t get to see icebergs,” said Lishman, a Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. “So this is my rendition of an iceberg.”

There are many shapes and sizes of icebergs, Lishman noted, and he’s “captured the general feel of icebergs and what happens with ice when it gets flipped, melted, refrozen and all kinds of things.”

The sculpture is part of an update to the west-side of the museum’s grounds, which begins this month. The project also includes planting trees, grasses and plants to represent the Arctic tundra, as well as moving the popular mammoth sculptures closer to the front of the museum in the fall.

The iceberg will go close to where the mammoths are now, said museum president and CEO Meg Beckel.

“My hope is that it will change the conversation and trigger conversation about Canada’s Arctic and its importance to Canada as a country now and in the future,” she said, adding the sculpture is part of the museum’s five-year plan to educate about the Arctic leading up to Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Work began this week at a subcontractor in Kingston, Ont., said Lishman, whose many landscape projects have included 86-foot steel sculpture for Expo 86 in Vancouver.

Lishman has been on about 15 trips to the Arctic and Antarctic but hopes his latest project will bring attention to the areas, melting ice and icebergs, for those who may never see them in person. “(Icebergs) are just so spectacular,” he said, “and I hope to capture that spectacular feel in this iceberg.”

(Photo: courtesy Bill Lishman)

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