Minimum Monument


“Minimum Monument is a poignant and moving display featuring thousands of figures made out of frozen water by the artist, her team of technicians and volunteers – a public intervention artwork which is a powerful reminder of the fragility of our planet and the communities it supports.”


“Néle Azevedo has be working from a temporary studio in K Village with volunteers and her creative team to make over 3,000 200mm tall icemen.”


“We’ve been working on the moulds for the past two weeks – getting them filled and frozen, then the sculptures were de-moulded and fettled by hand before being stored in freezers and the process starts over again. ”


“The icemen and women will be transported to Kendal Castle on Sunday morning.”


“On Sunday Azevedo will invite members of the public to place the beautifully crafted sculptures on the ruins of Kendal Castle where they can watch as these tiny ice figures melt and return to rain water.”


I’m not sure if this art is the kind of thing which Michael Gove recently derided as ‘modish crap’. Probably.


“Is this = to Turner, Ruskin, even Holman Hunt – of course not.”


Which limited frame of reference suggests that the underlying questions is: is this art Victorian?

Of course, Turner’s own art was controversial in it’s day. Had Twitter existed then, no doubt some self-publisizing, narcissistic, failed politician would have been using it to rail against Turner’s non-conventional vision.

(In a politically bleak year a lone high-spot was watching Gove skewer himself with his own back-stabbing machinations.)


Anyway, we enjoyed Minimum Monument immensely and there were a lot of other people there who also seemed to be thoroughly engaged and appreciative.


Naturally, I took a preposterous number of photos.








It was interesting to see how people had chosen to group the figures.

Almost all of the sculptures were placed on the walls, facing in to the castle. This couple…


…being a rare exception.

Eventually, we dragged ourselves away and walked down into Kendal…


…where there were numerous other activities on offer.

We added to a large clay sculpture…


…donned goggles for a 3D virtual reality flight over the Lake District, watched a three handed show (a mime I seem to remember) and visited St. Thomas’s Church to see this…


…enormous model of the moon by Luke Jerram.


A highly enjoyable day!

(The quotes at the top of the post are from the Lakes Alive website.)

Minimum Monument

8 thoughts on “Minimum Monument

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I don’t think many teacher’s liked Gove – he was a useless Education Secretary. Not that many of them have been any good – Estelle Morris (who had been a teacher herself) being a noticeable exception.
      Merry Christmas by the way!

  1. Fascinating and fun concept. I always think that “art” can sometimes be a seen as a little aloof and needs to be more accessible, if that’s the right word, to engage people. This seems to me to a perfect example of how to do just that and make people, especially the younger ones, think about what makes artists of all genres, create.
    That, and anything that Gove thinks is crap must be worth a look 😀

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I once went on an Art School Trip (a long time ago). As part of the day we visited two galleries, the first had lots of conceptual art – a bed made from bread with hollowed out body shapes sticks in my mind. Also a picture made with different shades of toast I think. (Both rather good I thought). The kids got very excited – they thought it wasn’t Art and were very eager to explain why it was ‘crap’. Then we went to the Abbott Hall with ‘proper paintings’ by a range of artists but including Turner and Ruskin (so Gove would have been happy). The kids switched off completely – they weren’t remotely interested, didn’t even really look. Art is what you make of it – if you don’t like it, fair enough, but that’s your personal opinion and perhaps best kept off twitter. Especially if you’re a……well, it’s Christmas – I’ll keep that opinion to myself too.
      Happy Christmas!

      1. Yes, I’ve made a couple of Seasonal greetings through gritted teeth today so I’ll just say have a great day together with the family 😀(if it helps, it’s pretty gloomy here at the moment)

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