The initial idea of Iceberg Flotilla started a number of years ago as a desire to see an iceberg float in a local body of water. I was living in the high plateau region of Eastern Oregon and there was this majestic lake with its icy waters that sat above town I would visit watching the world go by from what seemed the top of the Earth. This idea has developed and evolved with its visual impact and possible messages with as many locales as I have lived since. From being an ironic visual parody to a vehicle with the impetus to start a dialogue and bring awareness to a serious environmental issue without being preachy or abrasive to those camps that refute Global Climate Change. Iceberg Flotilla bridges this gap, connecting to a diverse audience through the shear visual absurdity of seeing an iceberg form floating in the warm waters off the coast of Southwest Florida.
I started the project by re-purposing a 22-foot pontoon. Through the use of contemporary boat building practices and materials I fashioned a form that sat upon the pontoon platform to take the shape of a tabular iceberg, a flat-topped iceberg with steep to vertical sides containing sharp lines and shapes from the separating of itself from a glacier or parts of the iceberg falling away. This is the most common shape of a new iceberg. As icebergs float further from the glacier erosion occurs and alters the form depending on many environmental conditions. After the sculpture’s form took the shape of a miniature tabular iceberg I painted and clear-coated the structure. The final step was to reinstall the steering and motor controls, the installation of proper lights and other safety apparatuses.
The resulting sculpture Iceberg Flotilla is a functioning watercraft registered and licensed in the state of Florida, Which can be motored from location to new location in its effort to bring awareness to this environmental issue; educate the viewers about icebergs and their impact on the level of the world’s ocean and what that ultimately means to Floridians, their beaches, the tourist industry and their homes. Iceberg Flotilla made its public debut at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival November 17, 2012.