I am enthralled with maps. There's just something about them that intrigues me, and so maps have been an element in my art for quite some time now. I've explored maps and map-like images in my journal and in my art for quite a few years now. I've consistently collaged maps into my journal pages as a means of remembering the places I have visited, and I've experimented with using actual and imaginary maps as inspiration for my art. My "Home" series comes immediately to mind.
So, lately here, when I haven't been creating little monsters, I have been exploring how to use mapping marks as a mean to build up layers and explore where I am right now. These are made-up maps, mental maps. They represent no actual place, but using lines that represent "roads" and "streets" and shapes that represent "borders" and "boundaries", I have been building maps of my journey, my thoughts, and my reflections.
|Work in Progress|
Maps help us locate ourselves in space. They give us insight into location and distance. They help us navigate our way in the world, and that's what I want my mental maps to do. But like all maps, this artwork is a superimposition of a structure onto something that has no real structure of its own. We see a brightly colored map with its borders, boundaries, labels, and lines, and the world seems like a very orderly and definable space. But take a look at what the area looks like in satellite imagery, and there are no pink countries, or bright orange states, or big dashed lines telling use where one place ends and another begins. Maps are superficial structures that we arbitrarily impose on our world to make the abstract concrete. And perhaps that's what I'm trying to get at with my art - trying to manifest abstract ideas into concrete form, but only yielding arbitrary and superficial forms.
|Detail of a Work in Progress|