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. Equity

    Housing Can’t Be Both Affordable and a Good Investment

    The two pillars of American housing policy are fundamentally at odds.

  2. A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.
    Life

    The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

    The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

  3. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  4. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks At Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

  5. a photo of a striking Uber/Lyft driver
    Transportation

    Uber and Lyft Really Don’t Want California to Pass This Worker Rights Bill

    As California considers a gig-work bill to make ride-hailing drivers employees eligible for benefits and bargaining rights, Uber and Lyft ask for compromise.

×