Back to mapping the land

Mapping the land #2Over the last few months I have been looking at Aboriginal Art, especially works which map the land using an aerial perspective. It fascinates me, but it turns out I find it quite hard to do; the traditional Western viewpoint is so strongly ingrained. You can see my original post about this here, and some unsuccessful attempts here.  

Yesterday I was having a ‘play’ day – just spending time with paint, stamps, glue etc. I did some mono-prints, some mixed-media collage, a little scrapbooking. A bit of this and a bit of that. I sifted through a few books on my shelf, including some that show the land from above.

After I had relaxed a bit I pulled out some heavier weight watercolour paper and did some monoprints using a bonded plastic bag I had saved from something-or-other. I started just casually working on top of the monoprint. And there it was – the first attempt at aerial mapping that starts to approach what I had in mind. It feels like I have broken through an unseen barrier.

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4 thoughts on “Back to mapping the land

  1. Thanks for sharing how you came to a satisfying map. I am at a block looking at nature and distilling it to the essence that makes my heart pump faster in an ah ha moment. I need to define what I want by looking at historic examples and then play with looking from different perspectives. I’ll try following your good example.

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  2. Cath, this one is really really good! I know what you mean too about obstacles and breakthroughs. For weeks, I have been working hard and getting nowhere it seems, but the other day I made leaps and bounds. ‘Progress’ is a great feeling! Congratulations on your map, it’s wonderful!
    Oh, I also enjoyed your graffiti post.

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  3. cath – i like this project of yours and am following with interest: mapping,,, what broad field… there’s a lot in geography about the problems of representations, the assumed god-like view of a bird’s eye perspective and much more… can tell you more if you’re interested. the narrative of dreaming is a fascinating contrast to that, yet also a difficult attempt of translating/understanding between two radically different traditions of how to work with space.
    i like this piece aesthetically a lot, and am curious where it will take you.

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  4. This is really striking. I’ve been working a lot with sense of place and mapping and have really only touched the surface. I keep getting stuck in a literal cartography place that I don’t want to be in, but I’m loosening up.

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