Ice Sculpture Festival Held at the World’s Largest Lake

Ice sculptures are seen at the annual ice festival on Lake Baikal, the world’s largest lake. On February 19-20, a number of artists erected ice sculptures to support this year’s theme “From the Depths of the Centuries”.

In the middle of the exhibition site, visitors are greeted by ice cubes that stand in a circle, which depicts Stonehenge in England. The ice cubes are decorated with petroglyphic replicas (rock sculptures).

Even if these statues were made out of competition, the artists followed the same requirement, namely to create ice sculptures based on actual ancient artifacts.

Lyubov Beshnova, the festival’s concept designer explained, “Both the standing ice cubes and our ice sculptures display actual artifacts on the walls. This is a very important task when choosing a design. We were contacted by more than 60 creators from Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and several cities in Russia, who applied from different places.Eight designs were chosen where the concept and theme of the sculpture is very deep and reflects our idea of ​​“From the Depths of the Centuries”.

Ice sculpture in the International Art Festival "Ice and Snow" which runs until February 28 at Gorky Park, Moscow, January 20, 2022. (Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP/illustration)

Ice sculpture during the International Art Festival “Ice and Snow” which runs until February 28 in Gorky Park, Moscow, January 20, 2022. (Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP/illustration)

There were 45 teams taking part in the competition in which eight teams qualified for the qualifying round, namely Yekaterinburg, Khabarovsk, Yakutia, Perm, Sochi, Izhevsk, Sergiev Posad and Mongolia.

The ice festival was organized with the support of French director Philippe Duteuil, who visited Lake Baikal five years ago and fell in love with it.

Philippe said, “Every time I talk to my friends in France about the festival, they are blown away by what they see. Because it’s like a different planet, the environment is really pristine and the concept is really interesting. Because it’s so extraordinary. , and great feelings are a rarity these days.”

He plans to organize a photo exhibition of ice sculptures in France this summer.

The photos will include a photo of the “From Age to Age” sculpture by the Sergei and Alena Korokov families, who came out victorious at this year’s festival. They created the ice sculpture based on an ancient hunting calendar found in the Komi Republic from the end of the first millennium or the beginning of the second millennium. One of the biggest difficulties ice carvers face is to get a smooth ice sculpture without cracks.

The ice cracks even more if it is taken at cold temperatures, as it was then, minus 25 degrees Celsius when it was taken from Lake Baikal.

The ice sculpture festival is also enlivened by folk art performances and sports activities. [lj/uh]