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. Life

    The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

    An Apartment List report reveals the cities apartment-hunters are targeting for their next move—and shows that tales of a California exodus may be overstated.

  2. photo: a pair of homes in Pittsburgh
    Equity

    The House Flippers of Pittsburgh Try a New Tactic

    As the city’s real estate market heats up, neighborhood groups say that cash investors use building code violations to encourage homeowners to sell.  

  3. Equity

    A Visual History of the U.S. Census

    Vulnerable communities are bracing for an undercount in 2020. It’s a familiar story that traces back to the Articles of Confederation.

  4. a street scene from Vienna, Austria
    Equity

    Secrets of the World’s Most Livable City

    Viennese lawmaker Maria Vassilakou explains why the Austrian capital ranks so high on quality-of-life rankings, despite its rapidly growing population.

  5. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

×