Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mapping -wallum, creativity and collaboration

Swamp Cartography-
Cartography (in Greek chartis = map and graphein = write) is the study and practice of making maps (also can be called mapping). Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.
The process of making new work is harder than I usually like to reveal for fear of sounding a little too highly strung and artistic. It starts a long time before a single mark has been made and swirls and gestates for anything up to a few years. The collabotaive process adds another element that hasn't come into my working process before. Rebecca's brooches got me thinking about the ferns in the wallum, the way she connects two disparate materials with silver, the threads that connect all the wallum flora and all the ideas we continually revisit, merging and submerging. Sometimes an idea that one of us has bought up many times seems like a breakthrough when we are finally at a stage of being able to appreciate it.

These pots are maps. The marks are intended to draw the viewer over the surface, they map the volume and exterior of the vessel, the journeys I've taken through the wallum and the creative process.

Arthur H Robinson states that a map that is not properly designed will be a "cartographic failure". "The intent of the map should be illustrated in a manner in which the percipient acknowledges its purpose in a timely fashion. The term percipient refers to the person receiving information and was coined by Robinson. "(from wikipedia cartography entry)
I wanted the percipient of these bowls to feel their way over the surface and through the wallum. I also wanted the pots to contain a secondary map of the collaboration which doesn't sound so dry and boring when I refer to it as the inspiration and alchemy that occurs when two like -minded and wildly different artists get together.
Mapmakers claim that maps should contain a wealth of information and be multivariate. The richness of information in a map generates hypothesis, stimulates ideas and further research. Perhaps the purpose of art and the purpose of mapping intersect.