Simon Beck: Creating art with a compass and snowshoes
- 8 March 2015
- From the section Magazine
Simon Beck has been walking in circles for years - and the results are astonishing.
The British snowshoe artist creates detailed geometrical designs by donning snowshoes and walking for miles, creating images that can be seen only from above.
It all started as just a hobby back in 2004.
"I just thought it was a bit of fun to do after a day of skiing," Beck says. "I just felt like I needed a bit of exercise… and decided to make a pattern in the snow. I had no idea how good it was going to look when I first made it. I was quite amazed when I saw it from the [ski] lift."
An expert in orienteering, Beck uses a compass and set of sketches to measure how many steps will be needed for each part of the drawing before he sets out.
Last month, Beck created a wolf howling at the moon at the Lake Louise Ski Resort in Banff, Alberta.
"It's just like an orienteering exercise," Beck says of the precision his designs require. "This is the same sort of process."
The images sometimes take more than 11 hours to make, and Beck can walk up to 30 miles while completing a single piece.
His art lasts only as long as the conditions hold. If it snows, his work is gone. But he says he doesn't mind, as long he's had time to take some good photographs.
List to the original radio broadcast on PRI's The World, a co-production with the BBC.