Vicki Clough Curates

Musings on art and life.

This is cool! No pun intended…

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..

Simon Beck Snow Art, 23 December 2012

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!

Snow Art, 30 December 2012. Time taken- 8 hours 45 minutes.

December 2012, The circumscribing circle for this design would be around the size of 6 soccer fields.


19 December 2012

All photographs are from Simon’s Facebook page. Take a look here.


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This entry was posted on January 1, 2013 by in Art, Nature Art, Photography and tagged , , , , .
Vicki Clough

Vicki Clough

Vicki is an independent curator and craftsperson with a focus on socially engaged and participatory art and events. In January 2016 she helped launch Reconstructing Resilience, a research and curatorial project that explored various forms of sustainable practice. As a freelance curator she has worked with the Riverdale Hub, Myseum of Totonto/Art Spin and was the Curatorial Director of Figment Toronto from 2014 to 2017. She has also co-curated exhibitions including JAYU's iAM photography project (2016 & 2017), Move to Stillness, for the Harbourfront Centre's Kick Up Your Heels Festival (2015), The Duel, AGO First Thursdays (2014), and What Are You Made Of? OCAD U Graduate Gallery (2013). She initiated the Toronto based workshop model and website Polymers in Action: Socially Engaged Art and the Environment as part of her studies at OCAD University, where she obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree in Criticism and Curatorial Practice. She publishes on anything that interests her deeply and moves her to the point of lengthy verbal expression.

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