Musings on art and life.
Simon Beck, an orienteering mapmaker from Southern England, has some serious old-school skill with his compass, pace counting, measuring tape and clothes line. His Snow Art has become a sensation, with an impressive following on his Facebook page, and a run of recent print articles and blog posts being written about him. Okay, please forgive me for jumping on the bandwagon, it’s hard not to, and I’ll show you why..
See..? It’s pretty incredible, especially when you consider that he’s used nothing but his own two snow shoe shod feet, to mark out these wintery wonders. Simon occasionally uses a ruler and protractor to sketch out his ideas before “setting out” his designs in the snow, but, as he describes in the Q & A section of his page, most of the time he uses the faint remains of the previous design as a template for a new one. The designs are based on geometric shapes, and some of them are named, like Mandelbrot set, Koch curve, Sierpinski triangle, three of Simon’s favourites.
The Snow Art is mostly done on the frozen lakes near Simon’s winter home in Les Arcs, South France. Obviously, he makes sure it is safe to walk on the ice before beginning and he says, has not yet succeeded in breaking it. Why lakes? They offer a more even terrain on which to map out, as well as being out of the way of ramblers and passers-by. According to Simon, each piece takes about ten hours to complete properly, which could mean traipsing around with a head torch during the dark of night with sore, cold feet.
This level of precision and attention to detail on such a large scale makes me want to see what his maps look like!
All photographs are from Simon’s Facebook page. Take a look here.
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