Map Drawings Series
(mapping + memory)
Some of these drawings are memory maps, however others are conceptual maps or depictions of actual places. The Map of Roger and Rosemary's Neighborhood is a memory map, for example, and Cape Cod is a conceptual, though fairly accurate map of the watery land and seascape with our temporary residence in red clay taken from my hometown of Natchtioches. Louisiana. In the Bio-Geographical Overburden drawings, aerial photographs were transformed into stencils so that geographical information could be overlaid onto the hypothetical topography created by the process used to create the Palimpsest Drawings—that of building an assemblage of stain leaching materials on paper out-of-doors to begin the drawings. Cancelled Landscapeis one such map/palimpsest hybrid drawing, Yield to Whim is another. The Woodswether Bridge Frottagesconsist of an actual map of the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers and a diagram of where water meets land, The River's Edge. These are made by taking rubbings from the steel diagrams that are part of the Sighting Stations for the Woodswether Bridge public sculpture project.
Recently I have made more conceptual maps of the walk or place in a series of maps of Prudence Island in Naragansett Bay, Rhode Island. These made use, not only of found soil colors, but also materials such as seaweeds and barnacles. I am attracted to these mineral and plant materials because of their physical qualities--their color, shape, texture, relative opacity or translucency—and because of their inherent meaning. Seaweed, for example, is gathered from the shore of the ocean, itself a transitional zone between fluidity and solidity. Chance and rescue are implied in gathering, as by extension are risk, will and randomness. Gathering itself is as important in constructing meaning as is the site of gathering. But my attraction to the particular plants I chose is contingent upon their ability to carry meaning. The seaweed, for example, is thrown upon the shore in much the same manner as we are thrown into the world.
I find myself walking around looking at residue, flotsam and jetsam, and into the earth's surface. I peer into excavations in city streets, into newly dug foundations, creek beds, footpath surfaces and road cuts to see what is revealed. I find beautiful reds, browns, yellow ochres, and celadon greens. Materials combine with memory as I make visual notations of my travels across the landscape.