Los Angles-based artist John Quigley teamed up with Greenpeace to construct a giant recreation of Da Vinci’s famous drawing on Arctic sea ice.
The “Melting Vitruvian Man,” which is the size of four olympic-size swimming pools, was built “to draw attention to how climate change is causing the rapid melting of sea ice to outstrip predictions,” according to a Greenpeace press release.
Quigley traveled on Greenpeace’s ice-breaker, the Arctic Sunrise, to a remote area 800 kilometers from the North Pole. The installation, which is made out of the same copper strips often used in solar panels, was built on ice in the Fram Strait between Greenland and Norway’s Svalbard Islands.
The giant Vitruvian Man was designed so that it would appear to be disappearing into the sea. Quigley told Greenpeace, “We came here to create the ‘Melting Vitruvian Man’ … because climate change is literally eating into the body of our civilisation.” Time reports the Vitruvian Man “will serve as a visual marker as the ice continues to melt and more of the man’s body goes along with it.” All of the work’s copper strips will be saved and reused, however.
This is not Greenpeace’s first message sent from the Arctic. In June, Kumi Naidoo, the head of Greenpeace International, and another activist were arrested for scaling an oil rig off Greenland.
A recent study found that a new record low for volume of Arctic sea ice in the summertime may have been set last year.
Photos and captions courtesy of Greenpeace.