Melting Messages: Nicole Dextras

1 Oct

While Mr. Forager & I are on the road, making our way to California, we’re rerunning Artsy Forager’s most popular posts.  This post originally published on December 21, 2011 and an Etsy Facebook post feature made it go just a little viral.  Enjoy!

This Florida girl is pretty new to the powdery white stuff.   If you live anywhere with snow, you know, as I am now finding out, that the fluffy white sugar transforms and quiets all around it.  But it is a fleeting beauty, only lasting a few months before turning to slush and ushering in the newness of spring.  And with the environmental changes taking place and urban sprawl snowballing ( pun intended ), the time and places to enjoy unspoiled beauty is diminishing quickly.  The vulnerability of the landscape under the threat of commerce is the underlying theme of Vancouver, BC artist Nicole Dextras’ Ice Typography installations.

View, 6 foot ice letters on the shore of Lake Ontario on Toronto Island during an art residency at the Gibraltar Art Center in 2007.

Her installations of words against backdrops of natural and urban landscapes begin with wood forms which are filled with water and left to freeze.  Once frozen, the forms are removed, leaving behind only the ice, which as we all know from Frosty’s story, only lasts for a little while.

Resource, Ice text installed on Lake Nipissing during the Ice Follies exhibition hosted by the WKP Kennedy Gallery in North Bay, Ontario in 2008.

These installations are indeed powerful when whole, but it is once the ice begins to melt, or is blown over by wintery winds that their real potency comes through..

Resource ( melting ), Ice installation lasted 4 weeks. ( photo by )

Equally compelling is the juxtaposition of words and phrases against their natural or urban backdrops..

In Flux, created during an Art Residency at the Banff Art Center in Alberta in the winter of 2005.

Desire, Night shot with the city lights glowing in the background.

Consume, Ice text in the front of the ever expanding Coal Harbor real-estate boom.

To see more of Nicole Dextras’ poignant installations, please visit her website.  During this season of incredible beauty and rampant consumerism, perhaps take a walk in the woods instead of heading to the mall.  It will be good for your soul.

Featured image is Legacy, a shot of the plywood forms installed on the frozen Yukon River.  All images are via the artist’s website.

13 Responses to “Melting Messages: Nicole Dextras”

  1. merlo150 December 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Isn’t a Florida rather a warm place?

    • Lesley December 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

      Yes, Florida is, but I am currently living in Northern Idaho, where I am enjoying my first white Christmas!

  2. Jade January 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Amazing – lovely concept.
    Enjoy the snow and ice.

    • Lesley January 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Jade! I’ve noticed a huge flow of traffic going to this post from Facebook– do you mind letting me know what led you here? So glad you came, hope you stop by again!


      • thewanderingballoon January 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm #



        • Lesley January 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

          Oh wow!! How exciting! I haven’t had a chance to scroll through my news feed yet, so I didn’t see it. Thanks for letting me know, Erika!


      • Kelly January 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

        Etsy just shared you with us all 🙂 Really cool concept! I’m a Florida girl myself and wish I could go play in the snow too! unfortunately, the Orlando area doesn’t quite fit the bill. But it does “snow nightly” in Disney’s little town named – Celebration. Unfortunately, it’s basically a shaving cream equivalent 😦 Anyway…thanks for sharing!

        • Lesley January 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

          Haha, Kelly! Greetings from a fellow Floridian! I’m originally from Jacksonville and love the snow so much my niece tossed fake snow instead of flowers at my outdoor January wedding last year. Love being here in the mountains of the Northwest, though we haven’t seen too much of the white stuff lately.

          Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again!

      • Lisa Lopez January 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

        Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! And, Etsy posted this story on FB…that’s how I found it. Congrats

        • Lesley January 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

          Thanks, Lisa, I haven’t been on my news feed so didn’t see Etsy’s post! Glad you enjoyed Nicole’s work, thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again!


  3. Gayle Price January 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Very cool!

    • lori spears January 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      Your work speaks of fragiltity and fleeting moments of reflection. Gorgeous. Facebook brought me here. Thank you for sharing.


  1. Nicole Dextras: Ice Typography « - January 2, 2012

    […] artsy forager […]

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