March 7, 2012
I’ve been very busy working on new artwork and illustrations recently, I am particularly happy with having used the old atlas I found at a carboot sale last year. It was such a beautiful book that I felt almost ashamed of cutting it up and making things from it, so I made sure to keep copies for future use. Regular blog readers may remember the map lampshade I decorated last summer, which still sits beside my bed and with my alarm clock, but I wanted to make something which I could share with the wider world, so to speak. Whilst I’ve always loved hearts with maps on them, I wanted a larger image to be displayed with them forming a pattern. This latest tote bag design is one of my favourites so far, and it’s ready in time for Earth Day in April!
I decided to use geographical map because the colours were so stunning, but also to avoid out of date political borders. I managed to conclude that the atlas must have been printed sometime between 1914 and 1921 since the adverts for other educational books at the back (which are priced in shillings and pence) state that they were revised in 1914, and despite large portions of the map being described as being part of the ‘British Empire’, certain country names and borders indicate that it was before 1921. Of course this information is not present on the geographical map, but seeing the different depths of the ocean and the heights of mountains makes the design so detailed.
I hope to make many more things with my maps, but the pages seem so precious that I only want to use them on crafts I’m sure will be lovely! Then again, I suppose that attitude has kept the atlas almost unused in my studio for the last year!
October 13, 2011
I have recently stumbled across the collage animal images of Jason LaFerrera. Each image is constructed digitally from maps and cartographic materials, considering the natural habitats of the animals and the relationships between these environments and regions. I really enjoy the layered nature of this work, although I prefer a more tactile texture of physical collage rather than digital works like this. The series of images seem to question the concept of boundaries, be it the animal’s territory, the ways in which humans create boundaries between themselves and nature or the division of land or counties, together with the impact these have on the natural world.
September 9, 2011
Covering lampshades in paper is considerably easier than covering them in fabric, although the same cautions apply regarding wrinkling in the glue. This particular lampshade has evaded being smothered in floral fabric for many months, each attempt being foiled by a tragic case of such crinkliness. I think it’s something to do with the shape; I just couldn’t get the fabric tight enough.
The map was part of the old atlas I found last week, and, after overcoming my guilt about cutting up the pages and reassuring myself that it would create something even more beautiful, two pages were used to cover the shade using pretty much the same technique as last time.
September 6, 2011
My carboot find of the week was a TV security system, consisting of a mini monitor and a wireless video camera. Unsure if it was in working order, I haggled down to £4; sure enough, for the first hour of its new life, it displayed static fuzz with an occasional flicker from the camera. I felt a wash of relief when the image cleared up, filling the small screen with a worried picture of my own face as I prodded at the buttons. From then on it has worked fine, and I assumed it had gotten caught in the rain and needed to dry out a little. During the tentative time when it was unclear whether it worked or not, I looked online to see if there was a manual available, and discovered when bought new, these systems came with two cameras so the monitor can be switched to either channel. I immediately began to conjure up fox-related artworks which involved giving the viewer the choice of which live channel/video camera to watch.
I also retrieved an old atlas from a box of disintegrating books. It is bound by rusty stables, the front and back covers being long been torn off, which makes it difficult to tell how old it is, but I’ve managed to conclude that it must have been printed sometime between 1914 and 1921. The adverts for other educational books at the back (which are priced in shillings and pence) state that they were revised in 1914. Large portions of the map are described as being part of the ‘British Empire’, but I say 1922 because it also indicates that Ireland is also governed by the British government, and was wasn’t until 1921/22 that Ireland was divided into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. The atlas smells dusty, like old newspapers that have been stored in attics, and there is a beautiful yellow tinge to the paper. It’s almost too beautiful to contemplate cutting up and creating envelopes and cards and covering lampshades and photo frames with, so I think I may scan some of the pages to use in future projects.