Architect’s ephemeral lake art a winter tradition

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Copenhagen An architect in southern Finland has returned to a frozen lake with a snow shovel to paint a large animal on the ice for the sixth year in a row to create a short-lived artwork he hopes will “make people happy and encourage them to go out for walks in beautiful nature.”

On December 4, Bassi Widgren drew a fox about 90 meters (295.3 ft) from edge to edge on Lake Petkajärvi, north of Helsinki. In previous years, he used a trowel to draw a bear and an owl, always using the same lake as his canvas.

Widgren has been drawing animals in local lakes every winter since 2016 near his home in a village not far from Lahti, a town of 120,000 people. The graphics disappear when more snow falls or when the snow melts.

The idea for trans art came “suddenly two years ago when I realized I might have a special ability to coordinate to do this kind of thing myself,” the 40-year-old said in an email to The Associated Press.


When he arrived at Lake Pitkajarvi earlier this month, he tested the cute fish to make sure it was thick enough to walk and work on. With a thickness of 10-15 cm (4-6 inches), it was..

“Of course, I had streams of snow around my neck,” said Widgren, in case the ice cracked and had to save himself.

“Then I sketched out the contours of the figure by walking and thinking they matched my picture of a fox at the same time, and then I started ‘drawing’ with a snow shovel,” he explained.

Four hours later, Widgren was finished. “I walked to the top of the cliffs ’45 meters above the lake’ to look at the end result, drank coffee from a thermos bottle and took some photos and videos as a memory of doing so.”

Widgren said the fox was less visible by Monday because it had fallen a little snow.

“It is also very important to me that making this kind of art leaves no (marks) for nature,” he said.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.


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