Published On: May 15, 2015

Ice Sculptures are more than Art

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On our drivers’ licenses, both in the US and Brazil, we have the opportunity to select an option to be organ donors. Checking that organ donor box on forms and papers certainly saves lives as well as providing sight to the blind and other miracles.

In Brazil, and many other nations, lack of familial consent (and consensus) on organ donation has led to a scarcity of viable organs. However, a hospital in Brazil has found a way to promote the practice of organ donation through the beauty of imagination.


Beneficência Portuguesa Hospital in São Paulo recently launched a unique public art campaign to get residents to become organ donors by thinking of others. The hospital has created a series of “Ice Men”, which are life-sized, frozen statues of figures carved from ice but containing visible internal organs.

The internal organs are made of a colorful resin so they are visible beneath the ice carving. After the ice sculpture has melted, a single organ remains. These sculptures were created to represent the passage of life, the temporality of the human condition, and the ability we have to leave something tangible behind.Beneficência

A metaphor for the circle of life, the ice statues are made with recycled water, which when melted are transformed into new statues. “We used them as an analogy for the human body,” says Manuel Coelho, Executive Superintendent of Marketing at the hospital.

“We at health institutions have the obligation to encourage the population to discuss the issue of organ donation with their families. We are hoping that these unique ice sculptures encourage open and honest dialogue about organ donation, which will boost permission of organ donations. ”

[This article and the photos appeared on the website Good. Edited by CIE.]

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