Some of you might know that my 2012 “Snow Drawings” at Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado received significant feedback and press nationally and internationally. Amongst others they were featured on NPR, MSNBC, The Discovery Channel, on TV in Canada – even on public TV Tokyo. They were also shown on numerous art, design and culture websites and written about in magazines, including SOMA Magazine, an Italian Archeology Magazine and a Chinese Art Magazine. Photographs and video of the pieces are shown in exhibitions in California and in Europe this summer and fall.
During several exhilarating interactive community events that combined art-making and outdoor winter activity in a most beautiful landscape in Colorado, we created large drawings that could only be seen from the air in their entirety – and only for a very limited period of time.
Check out the Snow Drawings at Rabbit Ears Pass
What exactly are “Snow Drawings”?
“Snow Drawings” are large designs that I “draw” in the environment by walking lines into fresh snow surfaces with snowshoes. Ideal “canvases” are deforested areas, as well as frozen lakes and rivers. The finished pieces are ephemeral, and while they can take many hours to create, their duration is entirely unpredictable. In some occasions they have been coated over by snowdrift or new snowfall shortly after completion. This requires that I photograph them immediately. In one instance I had a total of 20 minutes before nightfall to photograph a piece that had taken me 12 hours to create. The next morning there was nothing there at all.
Where did this idea come from?
I began this project in winter 2009 during an artist residency in the Rocky Mountains. Inspired by the lay of the landscape, I designed patterns in my mind, which I then walked into the snow. My drawings have since become more complex, and I have created “Snow Drawings” in diverse landscapes, including Northern New Mexico, the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe, on a frozen pond north of New York City, and various locations in Northwestern Colorado.
How can the Community participate?
In January 2012 I engaged the community in participatory “Snow Drawings” near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. While offering opportunity for people to actively assist in the making of art, this enabled me to create even larger pieces. Volunteers greatly enjoyed their partaking in these outdoor art-making events. Creating art is not only inherent in all of us, but is also a necessity for healthy human beings and a healthy society. "Every human being is an artist who - from his state of freedom - … learns to determine the other positions in the total artwork of the future social order." (Joseph Beuys).
These community events at Rabbit Ears Pass were made possible through the generous assistance of the Nature Conservancy of Colorado, the Steamboat Springs Arts Council and the Bud Werner Public Library of Steamboat Springs.
Thanks to a local pilot, who flew me over the area, I was able to shoot aerial photographs of the large-scale piece we had collaboratively created across the landscape within a fulfilling afternoon spent in the high-alpine Colorado winter world. A videographer with a remote-controlled helicopter shot video footage during the event, illustrating the creative process.
And what are the plans for winter 2013?
This past January‘s success - and experiencing how community volunteers took pleasure in their involvement in these outdoor art pieces - inspired even greater projects for this coming winter. I am now poised to create a more ambitious "Snow Drawings" project , involving host art- and environmental organizations across the US, providing opportunity for diverse communities to participate in the creative events, and resulting in monumental artworks embedded in varied landscapes. So far I have secured support from three organizations that will host and promote the events: in NY’s Hudson Valley, in Southern WY and in Northwestern CO. For the Colorado project we plan to work very large-scale – it is our goal to cover an entire frozen lake with snow drawings. The Wyoming snow drawings will be executed on a large prairie stretching across smooth hillsides near Saratoga Springs. I am in discussion with additional venues across the US.
Artwork that disappears - what is left after the events?
As an artist and environmentalist I hope to inspire dialogue about issues connected to the natural world. Instead of creating lasting art pieces I rather like to unfold my work into large immersive experiences that live on in their documentation only (photo and video), and – more importantly – in the memories of my audiences.
During their short existence “Snow Drawings” correspond with the landscape – and so do those who help me create them. To make the work accessible to a larger audience, however, it is essential that photos be taken immediately after each event. The scale of the work requires aerial photography. In 2013 I will also put special emphasis on video, particularly to capture the process of creating these works in a group effort. I will arrange for photo-flights after each event, and videographers working with remote-controlled helicopters. The video will be edited for installations.
It is my goal to perform this work in as many different kinds of environments as possible. I hope that these pieces emphasize the beauty and uniqueness of each landscape, and thus inspire appreciation for nature - especially as modern society becomes increasingly disconnected from the natural world.
Hinrichsen creates work that is both informative and mystifying, methodical and magical. … Like the Native American tribes whose customs fascinate her, Hinrichsen orchestrates a symbolic relationship between the beauty of nature and the evolution of humanity. Her art speaks of the transience that defines our everyday lives, but rejoices in the wonders of the universe that transcend our earthly existence. (Emilie Trice, “Traces of Nature”, SOMA magazine, May 2012)
How can you help?
Your donation will help take this project to a much greater level, to expand it to environments throughout the US, engage new communities in the creation of these works, and present it to new audiences across the country – this time in an even more majestic expression. Imagine seeing this work from an airplane or in a satellite image! The projects planned for winter 2013 require me to raise $6,500. Please help me reach my goal by donating to “Snow Drawings 2013”
Your donation will help pay for travel expenses, photo-flights at each location, hiring videographers, who will shoot process video with remote controlled helicopters, and snowshoes for volunteers who cannot provide their own. Your donation will also help pay for the production of large-scale photo-prints and video pieces that will then be shown in exhibitions worldwide.
All donations are tax-deductible, as this project is Fiscally sponsored through Fractured Atlas– and you will also receive exciting rewards (see side panel).
Other ways to help
I know, of course, that not everyone is able to contribute financially. If you like my project, but cannot donate, you can still help by spreading the word, if you like. Fell free to forward my campaign to people you know who might be interested in it, or post about it on facebook, twitter etc., or share it through the Indiegogo share tool.
Thank you for considering a donation to this unique arts project.