‘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

Fragments of the Devonshire countryside lay stitched together side by side. The roads don’t join up anymore and places that have never met find themselves in close proximity to one another. The moor meets the sea and then doesn’t. Motorways are clipped short and cut off, stranded. There are new roads to nowhere and the sea is now in puddles. Meanwhile, the bright red and yellow stitches are holding the whole picture together, somewhat playfully.

Underpinning every map there’s a series of logic and codes that we’ve learned to read and make sense of. Here, are they still readable in any way or are they now just a random series of colours and shapes?

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Since I learnt to drive, I’ve always carried a road atlas in the car, even though I rarely use one these days. Certain pages would with use get more dogeared, marked and worn than others – unless you’re a truck driver you probably don’t use all the pages equally.

Faded Memories

But this is a new atlas, with no marked wear and tear just yet, so everywhere is ‘equal’. I picked a page on Devon, where I lived for several years during my 20s and when I used to travel frequently from Exeter back to Dorset through Honiton, Axminster and Lyme Regis. My atlas from the time would have been creased and well-used – and faded too as the page would have been lying open in the sunlight on the back shelf of the car. This map isn’t though – instead it’s pristine and full colour and untarnished.

New Landscapes

So, I took it apart – disassembled it to see what it’s really made of, then stitched it back together again – 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? Or is it fresh, shiny and new like the paper itself?

‘The Illusion of Added Space’ was last modified: October 10th, 2018 by Michelle Rumney

Additional information

Dimensions 38 x 48.5 cm

map pieces (Devon) & stitching on paper


Floating foamcore mount in white wood box frame with TruView non-reflective glass


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