Tag Archives: maps

Highlights of the degree show

Almost a week has passed, since the exhibits came down, the walls were repainted and the lights turned off on our final degree show. It was a great experience, although I am glad it is all over. I promised you all some potted highlights, in case you didn’t make the show!

Do you know who you are?

If you turn and look back
Do you see the places you passed on your way here?
Each dwelling, carving it’s nature onto your identity,
However fleeting the pause.

Shadows, built from real and imagined places,
Embedding themselves into your self.
You may not even have noticed it happening
Until you were already gone.

The absolute identity does not exist;
The self is nothing but a haunting of memories, experiences and fiction.
Each pause is an unravelling,
A fragment of identity found or remembered;
A choice, a path, a longing.

You should not have come here looking for yourself.
You will find nothing.

DSC_0283

DSC_0277

DSC_0265_01

In total there was 221 metres of map string made from 32 individual maps, carefully chosen to represent specific places significant to my own identity. The book of poetry sits alongside offering a glimpse as to the nature of the memories belonging to each place, each thread.

And lots and lots of visitors!

Thanks again to everyone who helped make the show possible, particularly those who generously offered their help in sourcing or offering vintage maps. You all got a mention in my book 🙂

20160727_150821

 

Advertisements

You’ve got mail

Look what came in the post came today….

20160610_113841

And after a little bit of sorting, this is what we have!  Thanks a million to Mrs T Wilson to donating such a wonderful quantity of maps, and thanks a million to my lovely mum to for making surprisingly good use of Facebook in finding donors and then carting the whole lot over to the post office at top speed for me!!

20160610_114934

The plan is now to finalise exactly how many strings I want / have time for in the installation and make to the final number over next week. I don’t want to keep making right up until the end – firstly it will be too stressful and second, the pages in my poem book will need to be carefully counted so I can’t add threads at the last minute. There are enough ‘local’ maps of my places in the new box that I shouldn’t now need to source any more.

 

18 days until show build
34 days until the show opens 

The materiality of maps mini-project

I’ve been trying to concentrate on doing rather than thinking, so it has been a while since I’ve updated on progress. This will be a summary in two parts, reflecting the two areas of focus I am working with. This first post looks at the key point of feedback from my Unit 1 Assessment: “be more materially-led”. I started back in November looking at the idea of a map as material and seeing where it would take me.

In this post I started some ‘material sketches’, in particular a traditional-style patchwork piece which brought together significant places I cut out of an old map of where I grew up (Northumbria/South Scotland). I had written the story of why those places meant so much to me on each hexagon.

2015-11-25 15.09.15

From here I had commented on the signigfance of the stitching at the time, but on reflection was more fascinated by the bit of the map that was left behind after cutting. I said in my next map post that “There was something sad, sorrowful about the remnants. The leftover places which were devoided of all meaning through my act of cutting”.

20160107_141038

This took me to look more at the act of cutting to see what could be revealed though absence and incompleteness. This was quite fun actually, the process was relatively random – with no plan or meaning attached to how each map page was cut, simply an act of repetition going on through the A to Z. I moved away from the hexagon (a very quilting related shape) and moved to the more abstract circles.

DSC_0236DSC_0222

After this I had a bit of a break for Christmas and on getting back to my desk this week wasn’t really sure how to move on next. I started by playing with the pieces which had been cut out of the London AtoZ – using stitching and then folding.

20160104_16372920160104_154937

I then took a step back and went back to the idea of cutting a whole map, but this time being more selective on what to extract. I have acquired a absolutely fabulous set of old OS maps which I am using as source material. In this set I found a map of the place where I grew up on Tyneside. Having spent a lifetime with so much of my identity resonating with rivers, seas and waters (in no small part down to my fish-crazed dad), I was instantly drawn to the representation of the river, the shard of bright blue signing out amongst the city.

20160104_17102520160104_17103720160104_171237

I really liked these samples, there is something compelling about how the map looks once its lifeblood (and the reason the city existed in the beginning) was ripped away from the people and places around it. I thought to repeat this process on a bigger map and a different place, thinking more about the idea of deconstruction of place into constituent parts. I came across a map of my adopted home, so took that one, seeing what the material nature of the map would tell me about cutting or not cutting. This is what resulted:

DSC_0420DSC_0415DSC_0410

(in case you aren’t sure of the scale, fully laid out it’s about 1m x 1m)

I am quite pleased with this so far, and it is beginning to be more clearly influenced by the bigger context of my project (more on this in my next post). Now the question is where to go next from these samples?

A new way of working

I’ve given myself the rest of 2015 off! Well, sort of.

My plan is to release myself from any requirement to think about the final show, or my future vision, or even the outcomes of my project until after Christmas. This means I can have December to have a rest and try out some new ways of working and see how I get on. I want to do two things:

1. Play with my concept, explore it a little more as a fundamental question (rather than as something to make things by). I am going to start by going right back to the idea of how place and identity are linked and by asking a simple yet complex question:

Consider for a moment, your sense of self, that which makes you who you are. If you try to describe this as a place, what would it look like? What can you see, hear or feel around you? 

2. To make some samples without thinking too much about them theoretically. I want to see how I can let a material lead the development. I am starting from the map. I’ve spoken a lot about the concept of the map before, but materially speaking the map is most commonly a physical thing – a piece of paper, backed on cloth (old-school), just a piece of paper or a digital image. There are also mind made maps – a sequence of images, visual or sensory clues perhaps, which guide us from A to B (such as that Poy and I made manifest in our collaboration project). I am going to start from here and see where I go.

I started on a couple of what might best be described as material sketches, and it was interesting looking at what I made without the explicit focus on the form/new techniques I have had in mind over the last few months. The first thing I turned too was patchwork and stitch: a skill that much like my calligraphy, I just do without thinking about it. Now that was unexpected.

2015-11-25 15.09.15

2015-11-25 16.14.31