Snowshoe artist Simon Beck’s canvas is the French Alps.

(Simon Beck)

Each of his expansive land art pieces takes the English artist Simon Beck about 10 hours. “It started as a bit of fun, then it became a way of exercising,” Beck says of the works he carefully pounds into snow with the power of his snowshoes. “[T]hen people started giving me gear, then offering money, so it gradually ‘snowballed.’”

(Simon Beck)

Beck’s Oxford training as an engineer has prepared him well for a career in creating mathematically meticulous art out of snow. The artist generally draws his intended designs on paper beforehand, “if only to make sure they end up in the middle of the space and don't go off the edge of the good part of the site.”

A party of cross-country skiers travel past one of Beck’s pieces. (Simon Beck)

“[Creating] straight lines and nice curves is a technique that has to be practiced,” he says.

(Simon Beck)

Beck travels about 25 miles on his snowshoes to complete a piece, circling again and again around his art site.

(Simon Beck)

Want to see one of Beck’s creations in the (very cold) flesh? Head to the French Alps, where he does most of his work. But there is good news for stateside readers: The artist sometimes labors in more western climes. The video below, by the photographer Leah Hennel, shows Beck at work at Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.

H/t: Bored Panda

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  2. A map of Minneapolis from the late 19th century.
    Maps

    When Minneapolis Segregated

    In the early 1900s, racial housing covenants in the Minnesota city blocked home sales to minorities, establishing patterns of inequality that persist today.

  3. A map of population density in Tokyo, circa 1926.
    Maps

    How to Detect the Distortions of Maps

    All maps have biases. A new online exhibit explores the history of map distortions, from intentional propaganda to basic data literacy.

  4. A hawk perches on a tree in the ramble area of Central Park in New York.
    Equity

    The Toxic Intersection of Racism and Public Space

    For black men like Christian Cooper, the threat of a call to police casts a cloud of fear over parks and public spaces that others associate with safety.

  5. A Seoul Metro employee, second left, monitors passengers, to ensure face masks are worn, on a platform inside a subway station in Seoul, South Korea.
    Transportation

    How to Safely Travel on Mass Transit During Coronavirus

    To stay protected from Covid-19 on buses, trains and planes, experts say to focus more on distance from fellow passengers than air ventilation or surfaces.

×