Indigenous artist Icebear has breathed new life into his sculpture called Four Winds, which sits at the foot of Swift Street on Mermaid Wharf, near Tug Eatery. He was commissioned to produce the the two-ton piece 20 years ago.
Icebear, who is a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Nation, said Four Winds is “an environmental statement” based on Indigenous mythology. The figures — one of them Mother Earth — are reacting to environmental challenges caused by humans.
The sculpture is made from several materials such as metal, wood, foam and an outer shell of fiberglass. Four Winds can “go on and on” with proper maintenance, Icebear said, including the repair of cracks caused by people climbing on it. The cracks led to water penetrating and compromising the interior, which also had to be repaired.
The restoration is virtually complete, after six layers of clear-coat resin paint and a sealant. It has been five weeks of solid work “to get in there and make sure that it is done just properly,” Icebear said.