British Columbia-based artist Nicole Dextras creates eye-catching installations with an icy twist. Exploring thought-provoking themes like environmentalism and ephemerality, Dextras has crafted a collection of Frozen Textiles that transform ordinary garments into hanging icicles, blocks of ice, and even a larger-than-life Bouquet.
Equally inspired by science fiction and fanciful folklore, this ethereal Bouquet installation captures Dextras’ interest in reimagining nature. Relying on nothing more than a spray bottle full of water and Alberta’s frigid temperatures, Dextras froze a selection of 15 dresses from the 1940s and 1950s. Over the course of several days, ice began to cloak each individual garment, freezing their frills and full skirts into fabric petals.
Once each dress made this magical metamorphosis, Dextras arranged them into a colossal bouquet bursting with the “bright colors and the delicate details found in the biodiversity of the natural world.” True to form, this floral arrangement did not last forever; “it made its big splash in the wintery forest,” Dextras explains, “and within a few days it was gone.”
In addition to illustrating the idea of impermanence, Dextras crafted this installation as a way to delve into darker motifs. “This outdoor installation of ice-covered dresses was created to resemble an alluring bouquet of fantastical plant life summoned from the underworld,” she tells My Modern Met. “It appears out of the frozen earth like the mythical man-eating trees in folk fiction.”
Thus, though enchanting, it’s best to beware of this Bouquet. After all, as Dextras warns, it has “more in common with the Venus flytrap than the Valentine sentiment.”