South African photographer Bruce Boyd is fascinated by ice—particularly the way that objects look distorted when encapsulated inside a large ice block. He experimented for months, throwing ice blocks into various bodies of water and observing the wrinkles and cracks that warped the once smooth surface. Boyd knew that he could turn this passion into a project. He and his girlfriend, artist Tharien Smith, began to collaborate their interests and talents, and started the first of a three part series involving H2O in its three phases. The first, called Zero Degrees, showcases colorful, delicate flowers arranged by Smith and preserved inside ice blocks. The ice is then thrown into either swimming pools, streams, or muddy puddles to warp fully before Boyd snaps a crystal-clear photograph of frost and flower, color and clarity, life and death.
Boyd writes of his and Smith’s project: “In 0°C (Zero Degrees), we use ice as a medium to display the beauty of flowers. I find it fascinating that ice can preserve something and at the same time also enhance or distort the beauty of it. For a few fleeting moments, we are treated to this preserved beauty, the past encapsulated perfectly, before the ice melts and flowers wilt.” We are fortunate that Boyd’s photography has captured these moments forever, prolonging the freeze to sustain a flower’s life.