Since I learnt to drive, I’ve always carried a road atlas in the car, even though I rarely use one these days. As I used it, over time certain pages would get more dogeared, marked and worn than others. Truck drivers and travelling businessman probably use most of the pages frequently in an atlas – or used to – these days they probably all use sat nav anyway.
But I chose to use a new road atlas for this piece, with no marked wear and tear just yet, so everywhere in it is ‘equal’. During my 20s I lived in Devon, but my family lived in Dorset. One of my favourite and most frequent journeys was driving from Exeter back to Dorset through Honiton, Axminster and Lyme Regis. A journey of many colours. This page of my old atlas was well-used, creased and faded too, as I left Dorset to Devon in the atlas lying open on the back shelf of the car. This new map isn’t faded at all though – instead it’s pristine and full colour and untarnished.
So, I took it apart. I disassembled it to see what it’s really made of, then I stitched it back together again. I wanted to see what new landscapes would emerge.
- Do I recognise any of this journey anymore?
- Are the ghosts of memories inherent in those familiar place names?
- What’s happened to the space, the feelings, the emotional journey?
The Illusion of Added Space
Collage: map pieces (Devon) & stitching on paper
h 38 x w 48.5cm, 2014
Framing: Floating foamcore mount in white wood box frame with TruView non-reflective glass