It seems that winter, even in mid-April, is still hovering here on the westcoast, for we are in for some freezing temperatures and snow this weekend. It's been the coldest spring since 1969 and our farmers are worried.
But this inspiring story about a snow artist in northern Finland cheers me.
Artist and University of Lapland Professor of Art Education Timo Jokela, 52, lives off snow and ice.
For Jokela, snow is a muse, a source of endless inspiration to his artistic imagination. "Free material." Jokela sculpts, saws, and moulds snow and ice. His studios are anywhere in the world, on the fells of Finland, Sweden, and Norway, and most recently in the Austrian Alps, where he was invited by Salzburg's Kunsthaus Nexus to create a snow installation. Winter art is a budding Finnish export item. Art museums from different continents have placed orders with Jokela at an increasing pace for ice and snow sculptures.
Photo: Harri Nurminen for Helsingin Sanomat
But the most important thing for the artist[...] is to examine and create winter art as part of the psychosocial well-being of the world's children. This winter Jokela travelled to the village of Lovozero on the Kola Peninsula, in Northern Russia, where along with his students and the local village schoolchildren he created an enormous snow-park, complete with a herd of grazing reindeer moulded from the snow.
This was a part of a larger Arctic Children project. I also love Jokela's other beautiful environmental art installations on the spare northern land, so dramatic and making me think that he may be the north Finnish version of Andy Goldsworthy.