I have been using maps in my collage work for about twenty years now. They have always captured my imagination, as I tried to picture the physical places each shape corresponded to. A map is a symbolic representation of a place or a journey, but the lines, shapes, and colors of the maps themselves are often beautiful. For me, maps evoke a mixture of emotions and associations: the excitement of new places, a sense of movement, mystery, and adventure. Before going on a trip, you usually refer to a map as you make your plans. Looking at a map could lead me on an imaginary journey to wherever I wished, even if I wasn’t going anywhere. This small map collage is an attempt to capture those moments of excitement and mystery, while also creating a pleasing arrangement of artistic elements. I always enjoy the challenge of trying to create a balance between the two.
Map III has undergone a number of revisions and transformations, as I sought to convey that sense of movement from place to place. For a small map collage, it has many layers, which are hidden or revealed to various degrees. The main map fragment was taken from another piece which had been dismantled. The Chinese joss paper with gold leaf complimented the deep turquoise of the decorative paper with its gold accents. I added the piece of vintage Japanese (?) text, the cancelled stamp, and the Tibetan letters at the top to hint at the idea of far away, mysterious places.
This small map collage could be the perfect addition to any space in your home that needs a colorful, intriguing piece of art to complete the decor. Go here to see what Map I and Map II look like in a collector’s home. Perhaps Map III will stimulate your imagination, and inspire some travel fantasies or dreams of your own.