Maps

Australia’s ever changing landscape is a huge part of who we are as a country. Altitude differences on topographic maps is one way of reading the land and has always been a  part of my life, with a Dad as a Farmer and a Mum as a Geography Teacher. I am fascinated by the 2D undulating lines that represent 3D physical objects. By depending on how close they are to each other, represents the slope of the land and the apparently invisible lines of latitude and longitude that govern our position in the world.

Previously I have used maps to create an Artist Book, cutting out the landforms and following the blood red and blue road and river lines, to fashion a head emerging from an Atlas.

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I would like to explore the form of maps and use them as some form of creative activism. The artist Ash Keating was in Chile during the 2007 protest about mining for gold in Pascua Lama, within the Andes. While he hasn’t used maps, he has taken the form of a typographic map and cut it into a typical Chilean newspaper, hence creating public awareness by sculpting the news.

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For this artwork, that was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, he created newspaper spreads as a program for the event, tying in the theme of mass media and his exhibition.

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Within the NG Art Gallery international hand cut paper exhibition Shannon Rankin exhibited Peaks, Vents and basin, all of which are inspiring for my project and further exploration.

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Some other beautiful map work, created by artist Claire Brewster, shows great skill in cutting and working with shadows for effect- something I find intriguing.

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This map work inspires me to continue researching this art form as it combines graphic elements such as typography and line work. Through the 1st semester climate change work I enjoyed communicating scientific data through a more simple graphic delivery.Topographic maps are a type of scientific communication and I feel that they tie in nicely with this idea. Maybe I could work with excavations on the liverpool plains and the proposed gas wells? Cutting away at the maps, like digging out the earth?

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