I was really inspired by the tangible examples of maps in our textbook, The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography. The paintings, installations and sculptures got me thinking I wanted to make something physical. My map deals with the concept of strata or geological strata mapping. Like layers beneath the surface being the memories and experiences that make up our lives. My attempt at this map was to include memorable events throughout my life, inserted within the layers of a map of Florida folded so that Ocala would be a center point on the top surface of the map display.
The sides of the map appear semi-transparent, allowing light and shadow to play about. The folds are organic and reminiscent of the strata maps of the earth below the surface of our planet.
The strata contain strips of artistic papers with memories written on them. The photos were printed from my Facebook album containing a lot of family photos and photos of friends growing up. The stratum also contains real photos. I included business cards of the dentist I have recently visited and would like to include more recycled materials, even bills that reflect my life. I would like to include student artwork that has been left behind and other materials I find and can incorporate. Some documents or even objects in the strata would be more important in relation to my life and others subtle or even insubstantial.
I am inspired as there could be many themes to this sculptural approach to representing maps. One idea is to cut the surface map to match the shape of Florida, collage/adhere a map of Florida to fit and then the strata would consist of vintage and contemporary imagery, documents and brochures. The sculpture could be large, 6ft or more and viewed as this one is, in the round. In addition the large Florida map could be viewed from a higher vantage point, say a balcony as well. This would give the sculpture a multi-dyamic approach in viewing and perceptive qualities.
Overall I am happy with this experiment. I plan on making the historical Florida strata map (starting with prototypes) and may approach gallery or State government spaces someday. I will start with experiments of working in larger formats with this strata idea generally too.
Process and Detail Photos included.
Art Educator, Professional Photographer, Journalist. Alumni - B.F.A. Savannah College of Art and Design