For Finland’s Pasi Widgren, the inspiration to create gigantic snow art came on “suddenly a couple of years ago when I realized I may have a special ability of coordination to do this kind of things myself,” he tells the Associated Press.
The 40-year-old architect has been drawing animals on his local lakes since 2016. Every winter, Widgren sets out to the frozen landscapes outside Lahti. His hope? That his art will “make people happy and encourage them to go out to hike in a beautiful nature.”
With a population of 120,000 nearby, his work has plenty of appreciators, too. From bears to owls, previous years have ranged the animal kingdom. For his sixth snow exhibition, he’s chosen a fox. Not just any fox, however, but a 90 meter (almost 300 foot) fox imprinted into the snow atop the frozen water of Lake Pitkajarvi.
Widgren uses a snow shovel to create his majestic, massive art. But before he can, he checks the thickness of the ice to ensure his own safety.
“Of course, I had ice awls with me, around my neck,” he adds for Associated Press, citing that ice – even if 4-6 inches thick like Pitkajarvi’s this December – cannot be trusted.
“Then I sketched the contours of the figure by walking and thinking it to match my image of fox at the same time and then I started to ‘draw’ by using (the) snow shovel,” he continues.
Architect Hikes 150 ft Elevation to View Giant Fox Art in Full
2021’s fox took Widgren four hours to complete. Which will impress anyone who’s ever tried to create, well, anything – let alone a 300-foot fox imprinted in the snow.
To enjoy his final product, “I walked to the top of the cliffs,” Pasi says. The local cliffs overlook Lake Pitkajarvi from around 45 meters (150 ft) high. Once to the precipice, the artist settled in “to look at the end result, drank coffee from my thermos bottle and took some photos and videos as a memory of doing this.”
His primary goal is enjoyment for himself and others out in nature, which Widgren accomplished in spades. The artworks are worth documenting for more than their grandeur, though. Snow is the norm in south Finland’s winters. And by the following Monday, Pasi’s fox was far less visible due to it snowing just “a little.” If not for his photos, it might have well never existed to others.
But this natural process is also paramount to Widgren. “It’s very important to me also that making this kind of art doesn’t leave any (marks) to nature.”
Spoken like a true Outsider, sir.