I saw Sonja Hinrichsen‘s amazing large-scale snow drawings on Facebook today and went WOW!
Drawings on such a large scale would be impossible for one lone woman to achieve on her own, so Sonja gets dozens of volunteers to help her create these colossal works. The drawings have a cohesiveness because Sonja sets strict parameters for her volunteers to follow.
Click on the link for This Is Colossal’s article about Sonja’s snow drawings in Colorado:
(For more interesting articles, check out This Is Colossal’s site)!
Here are some aerial shots of Sonja’s most recent offering “Snow Drawings At Catamount Lake”, taken from her site:
What first caught my attention was the similarities between Sonja’s concentric circles and connecting lines, and the “watering hole” or “campsite” circles and squiggly lines depicted in Australian Aboriginal Art. (For a short lesson on Australian Aboriginal Art symbols, click here for one of my previous posts). The powerful naivete of such symbols is very potent indeed.
Sonja’s Artist Statement explains the ethos behind her Art:
In my artwork I examine environments – urban, industrial as well as natural environments. I am interested in the intersection between place (city or nature) and human perception and utilization thereof, throughout history. Some of my works rely on photo-and video mappings, sound recordings, note-taking, and research about these places and their historical, societal and ecological circumstances. I am especially drawn to environments that may seem inhospitable, such as wastelands, deserts, high mountains and snow/ice landscapes. Mythology and local legends play a particular role in my research, as they bear invaluable information about places and how people(s) have lived in and with them in past eras. Despite an overall documentary character, these projects have a very personal focus, as they draw from my experiences and perceptions. While the attention may sometimes reach beyond the reality observed, and venture into hypothesis/fantasy, my pieces usually relate to issues pertinent in our modern, consume-oriented world. With the summary of the audio-visual materials and information collected I create immersive media installations with multiple video projections, sound collages and narrative (spoken or text within the projections).
Other projects are subtle expressions created directly in the environment. Typically these are simple performances or rituals that result in ephemeral art pieces. While nature erases them within a short time, they live on only in their documentation and are later used in video installations or become photographic pieces. One such project is “Snow Drawings”, large designs that I have been walking into pristine snow surfaces with snowshoes. These works correspond with and accentuate the landscape, and I hope that they help arouse appreciation and consciousness for the natural world. Modern society is becoming increasingly more disconnected from nature. I believe, however, that for a successful future of humanity it is essential that we re-gain a greater awareness of our planet’s nature.
As an artist I feel the responsibility to address subject matters our society tends to neglect or deny, including adverse impacts to the natural environment, social inequality and injustice, and human exploitation. While I am interested in provoking thought and in engaging my audiences intellectually, I am not interested in creating lasting artworks, as I believe that our world is over-saturated with man-made products. I like to unfold my work into large immersive experiences, however I prefer that it live on in its documentation only, and – hopefully – in the memories of my audiences.