This partially floating installation by Margaret Leeuw is just some of the artwork featured on and around Milner Gardens’ reflecting pool by Mid Island Floral Art Club artists for their Fire and Ice project. — Adam Kveton

Foam waste becomes inspiration for art installation

Mid Island Floral Art Club creates Fire and Ice art pieces at Milner Gardens

Floating icebergs using chunks of recycled foam, and a rising volcano of flower pots are the central elements of a new art installation by the Mid Island Floral Art Club.

Named Fire and Ice, the installation features work by three of the club’s artists: Teresa Craig-Morgan, Elaine Peterson and Margaret Leeuw.

Using natural materials such as plants and branches, as well as paint and artificial pieces, the installation includes three pieces around Milner Gardens’ reflective pool, but with Leeuw’s floating icebergs and volcano at the centre, on the surface of the pool itself.

The installation as a whole is a commentary on global warming, said Craig-Morgan in a written statement. She created a diptych — a pair of mixed-media pieces each on a board. “I hoped to bring a sense of tension — a sense of erosion of our natural world,” she wrote.

Leeuw, on the other hand, said she hopes her work, with the icebergs and volcano reflected on the water’s surface, promote a relaxing, meditative experience, while simultaneously “reminding us how precious our clean air and clean water is, and that we need to do our part to maintain a climate that will support all living things,” she said.

Though the group generally uses plant material as a medium, it was large styrofoam pieces that washed up on the beach and that Leeuw collected that inspired the installation’s core design, she said.

The styrofoam pieces serve as the base for the floating icebergs, decked with various plant materials and other media, while the volcano uses complicated, curved branches painted in reds, yellows and oranges to provide a sense of flow, like magma, Leeuw said.

The floral art club is known for creating less permanent pieces like Christmas wreaths and floral interpretations of paintings, but the Fire and Ice installation is meant to last until the beginning of August.

Milner Gardens and Woodland director Geoff Ball said, “The artwork is amazing, and we are thrilled to have it on display for our visitors this summer.”