Hearts beat for art When the first snow has sprinkled the whole of Jukkasjärvi with white, artists from all over the world come together in the village to take part in creating the art exhibition of snow, ice and light that makes up Icehotel. “Icehotel is an art symposium in a class of its own. The energy released here when creative people from a wide variety of backgrounds and places meet the ice is almost tangible,” says Arne Bergh, partner and sculptor who’s been part of Icehotel since the start. Icehotel is all about ice and creativity – with art as the result. That’s why the artists invited to take part are not required to have worked with ice before – they’re selected from among those who send in their ideas based on originality and creating it in real natural ice would pose a new challenge. Each year some 40 artists are taking part in Icehotel. The notion that several weeks’ hard work and months of planning and preparation culminate in something that only exists for a few months is in some respects a bittersweet feeling. ....To be able to cast the building, “snice” is produced – a mixture of snow and ice made of water from the river. The snice is sprayed onto molds, which are removed once the structure has consolidated. It’s then finally time to continue the creative process inside the meter-thick walls. The aim is to use water from the Torne River as far as possible. The rooms are constructed in a classic, catenary arch shape, which is self-supporting and incredibly strong. Room after room is filled with snow and ice in the right amounts, so when the artists arrive they can get started and immediately turn their sketches into reality. Six weeks later it’s finished – with the work of many hands the river has changed shape and been transformed into art. Rooms | ICEHOTEL You have to see the rooms. Well, except for the ice sculptures of people which might be a bit creepy.