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Kari Kola’s Snowhenge: Until it Melts!

Snowhenge

A full-sized Stonehenge sculpted from snow—one of those things we didn’t know we needed until we saw it! [See a short but wonderful video of the sculpture here] Look at the shapes of the trilithons and the arrangement of the “stones” of this Snowhenge in Finland. Time and thought have been taken to make it seem like the real one. I would love to experience what it’s like to walk among them!

This remarkable installation arose from the brilliant mind of Finnish light artist Kari Kola. On his Facebook page he writes:

I wanted to create something iconic to these harsh times and i was thinking the strongest places i’ve been… then everything was clear! Let’s build Stonehenge on 1:1 scale from snow! Project is called Snowhenge! It’s been a privilege to work with ice-sculpting masters Mr. Anssi Kuosa and Mr. Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsuren with this project. Also this wouldn’t be possible without creative construction consultant Mr. Brendan Savage from Ireland to realize the exact scale and positions. Also it’s a privilege to be supported from Stonehenge, thank you Jessica Trethovan and Jennifer Davies! This is located in my gardens at my hometown Joensuu before it melts.”

An article about the snowhenge in Finnish STT info says “The multiple Finnish master of ice sculpture Anssi Kuosa has been responsible for the sculpture together with the world champion of Mongolian ice sculpture Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsure. Kola asked Brendan Savage, an Irish creative construction technology consultant with more than 30 years of experience in large structures and scale, to join the project.

Kola’s snowhenge is also lit by the artist.

The article goes on to say, “Stonehenge has never before been built on a 1: 1 scale from snow. The stone circle is 32m in diameter and the largest stones are about 6m high. Construction of the project started on 27.12. and the project has been under construction by about 10 people. The complex is expected to be on view until mid-March in the Botanical Garden in Joensuu, owned by Kola.

That is, until it melts. Is it just us or does anyone else hope there is a lengthy timelapse of it melting when this is all over? Watching Stonehenge Melt seems like a good title for a video, or for something at least.

Part of Kola’s motivation for making the Stonehenge is to encourage the creative arts. On his Facebook post about the Stonehenge replica he also writes: “I think it’s very important to remember history and importance of culture and arts. In these crazy times with the pandemic its been very sad to see many governments to have very low support for the arts and artist. I hope that the project will inspire other artists to keep creating beautiful projects all over the planet.

What a wonderful project,! It’s the kind of thing that shows something we’ve reflected on from time to time. Doing Clonehenge allows us to see the best and most creative sides of people at a time when it’s easy to forget that humanity has a good side. Think of all the thought, planning, work, and certainly money that has gone into making this beautiful sculpture that has no practical use. It was built knowing that before long it will melt away. Instead of men at work, although they have certainly worked, it is in a sense men at play. For us this makes the list, with Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge, of our favourite Stonehenge replicas of all time. Bravo to its creators and to the spirit of creativity and joy that it embodies!

People in this world with us are still brilliant, doing brilliant things! We can’t wait to see what you do. So until next time, friends, happy henging!

Late-breaking news: since posting this we found this wonderful 360° experience of Kola’s Snowhenge, which allows the user to view it as if from inside, even providing a choice of day or nighttime! https://360panorama.fi/360BotaniaTalvipuutarha/

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