We had a fantastically busy festive season, filled with ice sculptures and cheeky elf fun. Our Sand in Your Eye team then had a well-deserved Christmas break before setting off at the start of the new year to Woodhorn Coal and Mining Museum in Northumberland, where we delivered a large-scale, two-day family ice event. The Coal & Ice event aimed to share the message of climate crisis and the impact it is having on animal habitants.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas our team (Peter, Dave, Dunc, Liz and Claire) worked diligently in the freezer carving out single block ice sculptures of species that are at risk due to climate change. They carved two of each animal so that they could be displayed on both days of the event!
The animals we carved were all at risk species carved and were chosen by children of the local Northumberland schools: Snow leopard, sea turtle, axolotl, orangutang, bee, monarch butterfly, puffin, and a dolphin.
We had two live carve elements at the event: one large-scale ice sculpture of a polar bear, unfortunately by the second day, due to unseasonably warm weather and winds the polar bear had melted down rapidly. This however was a very on point visual message to have at an event about the very real effects of climate change.
The other live carve element of the two-day event was a spectacular ice bridge. Within the bridge’s ice block’s, environmental pledges were placed inside, the pledges were handwritten by the local school children the museum had been working with around the climate change topic.
As it was the beginning of the new year the museum encouraged people to make their own environmental pledges/resolutions during the trail, making families think about actions they could take to help reduce their own carbon footprint and offering an opportunity for people to reflect on the role each of us can play in reducing our carbon emissions and achieving net zero. The bridge itself symbolised community and bringing people together.
The final element that we provided for this event was family friendly, paper craft workshop. We designed a geometric paper craft polar bear hats, this could be constructed without the need for scissors or glue. Children could decorate their own polar bear hats to give them a personal, creative touch. This was another opportunity to have discussions around climate change and the effects on animals such as polar bears.
The response to the trail was fantastic, with over 2,000 people attending it. It was a fantastic location to have the event, with an amazing juxtaposition between the temporary ice sculptures, against the mining architecture that was built to last forever.