14.02.11 – An international ice sculpture competition was held at the Helsinki Zoo on the first two weekends of February. I headed out with my two friends, Dave and Hanna, on a sunny Sunday where the temperatures were probably the coldest they’ve been since I’ve been here, -15°C. Our goal was to see ice and not become ice.
The annual event usually focuses on animals and there were two themes, one for each weekend. The Future of the Seas and Oceans was held the previous weekend and on the weekend we visited the sculptors were chiseling, chain sawing and filing away to create works for the theme Animal Behavior. There were about 20 sculptures to admire ranging from the more concrete polar bears standing on shrinking ice caps to more abstract shapes etched with skeletal like lines.
The three of us had done quite a bit of walking to get out there so we had to seek warm refuge shortly after arriving. Luckily the competition was held in front of the Zoo’s Pukki Restaurant, so we headed in for coffee and pulla. After we warmed up we headed out again but it wasn’t long before we had to warm up again in the Amazonia House, one of the indoor exhibits with animals from South America.
The walk home was even more interesting because we couldn’t find a proper bus stop. For some reason, the bus drivers would wave as they drove by but wouldn’t stop! After about 30 minutes of walking and standing outside, we finally found a stop where a bus stopped to take us back to the city center. If we would have had to walk back to the zoo, I was thinking of breaking off my feet and entering them in the competition.
Here are some better shots other photographers took at the event.
- Amazing Japanese Ice Sculptures (huffingtonpost.com)
- Ice Miracles: 40 spectacular ice sculptures from around the world (greendiary.com)
- How do you carve an ice sculpture? (bbc.co.uk)