From 2007, Basia Irland has been creating ice books, sculptures that resemble books created with huge blocks of frozen river water and “engraved” with seeds from local plants. These ice books are released back into the river where they eventually melt. The seeds are dispersed into the stream, turning into plants along the riverbank. The artist’s project, called Ice Receding/Books Reseeding, aims to inspire action to save the planet’s rivers by drawing attention to climate change and glacial melting as well as show the importance of local rivers and watersheds.
As Irland states, “Through the release of seed-laden ephemeral ice sculptures into rivers, creeks, and streams, the project not only connects people to their watersheds, it attempts to repair these watersheds by re-vegetating riparian areas with native plants and trees.
“Each ‘book launch’ is an energized gathering of community participants, many of whom have not physically been to their river before the event. The project provides a hands-on educational experience by encouraging interaction with the river and demonstrating how specific native riparian seeds can help restore a watershed. Seed packets are gifted to the participants so they can continue the planting process.”
A new book called Art & Ecology Now, published by Thames & Hudson, brings together 95 artists who are confronting climate change through their thought-provoking works. Irland’s ice project can be found in this book.