Haunting Photos of Elaborate Gowns Frozen in Ice

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Vancouver-based environmental artist Nicole Dextras, who we first learned about on Beautiful Decay, works with ephemeral materials such as plants, water, and flowers. For her installation series IceShifts, Dextras froze elaborate gowns in five-foot-tall blocks of ice, illuminated them at night, and photographed the results. “This frozen wardrobe acts as a metaphor for the multilayered affinities between the self and the environment,” Dextras explained. “On a deeper level, the mercurial aspect of ice alludes to the transient nature of the environment and of the inherent poetic beauty of the ephemeral.” The frozen dresses resemble icy sirens, dancing and drawing us near. See more of Dextras work in our gallery.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Clémence Photograph of Clematis seedpods, Hydrangea flowers, artificial flowers, fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Typhanie Photograph of Cattail leaves (Typha), Maple leaves (Acer), Chinese Lanterns (Physalis alkekengi), fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Luna Photograph of Annual Honesty (Lunaria Annua), Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Fernanda Photograph of Ferns (Pteridophyta), Wheat (Triticum), fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Myrtle Photograph of Eucalyptus flowers (Myrtaceae), Poplar leaves (Salicaceae), Staghorn leaves, fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Alectra Photograph of Goats Beard Moss (Alectoria), Pitcher Plant flowers (Sarraceniaceae), Ivy, fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Maggie Photograph of Magnolia leaves, Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila), roots, fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras

Laura Photograph of skeletonized Laurel leaves, Birch bark, Deer skin, fabric, ice.

Photo credit: Nicole Dextras