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 young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  2. Electricians install solar panels on a roof for Arizona Public Service company in Goodyear, Arizona.
    Environment

    A Bottom-Line Case for the Green New Deal: The Jobs Pay More

    A Brookings report finds that jobs in the clean energy, efficiency, and environmental sectors offer higher salaries than the U.S. average.

  3. A new map of neighborhood change in U.S. metros shows where displacement is the main problem, and where economic decline persists.
    Equity

    From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change

    A new report and accompanying map finds extreme gentrification in a few cities, but the dominant trend—particularly in the suburbs—is the concentration of low-income population.

  4. Equity

    Is This the Next Mayor of Boston?

    City Councilor Michelle Wu, a Chicago native, has pushed for fare-free transit, tangled with Airbnb over housing regulations, and shaken up the politics of Old Boston.  

  5. A crowded room of residents attend a local public forum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
    Life

    Are Local Politics As Polarized As National? Depends on the Issue.

    Republican or Democrat, even if we battle over national concerns, research finds that in local politics, it seems we can all just get along—most of the time.