For directionally challenged people like me, maps are mostly a pain in the ass. They’re hard to read, impossible to fold, and often take you to the wrong place.
So it never occurred to me that mapping is a symbolic language–a language that combines the visual and the verbal, which is what I’m most interested in these days.
Everywhere I look, though, artists are expanding the concept of “map” and creating amazing work. Like Ed Fairburn, meshing the geography of the face with the geography of the place…Paula Scher, making huge maps out of place names…Karen O’Leary, cutting intricate maps of cities…and many more.
Fortunately, people who are passionate about maps are great proselytizers, determined for the rest of us to get it.
Some of my favorites:
Jill Berry, Personal Geographies
Peter Barber, The Map Book
And now that my eyes have been opened, I realize I’ve already made some maps in my journals–and plan to make lots more.