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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Maps & Art or Where the Road Takes You

Sherman Oaks 405 & 101
Artist:  Lisa Fulton

 I've been pondering maps lately and why they fascinate.  Lines, of course.  Your eye can't see a line without following it, from one point to another, anyway.

Take, for instance,
The Mahmud al_Kashgari map (1072) of a "Turkocentric" world, oriented with the midsummer sunrise on top, showing the Caspian Sea to the north, and Iraq, Azerbajan, Yemen and Egypt to the west, China and Japan to the east, Hindustan, Kashmir, Gog and Magog to the south.  Blue lines are rivers and red lines are mountain ranges. And it is encircled by the ocean. You can see it at the Pera Museum in Istanbul. Artful, isn't it.

Humanity Rewarded
Artist: Jennifer Jefferson

My friend Jennifer often uses bits of maps in the backgrounds of her collages composed on recycled old book covers.

Snowshoe Rabbit
Artist: Jennifer Jefferson

I see it as tongue-in-cheek humor, for her subjects have instinctive maps imprinted on their brains. Only you, the viewer, would require one if you were intent on following them.

Woodpecker & Daisies
Artist: Jennifer Jefferson

 You can see more of Jen's collages for sale on her Etsy shop here and read her blog, A Country Weekend, here.

New York City Subway
Artist: Ingrid Dabringer

Ingrid Dabringer, who lives in Sault Ste. Marie, makes maps a focal point in her art. Her blog with other works is here.

Park City, Utah by James Niehues

James Niehues, a map artist, creates ski trail maps, which is also a practical pursuit.  His website is here.

Paphos section of Cyprus
Artist: Abi Daker

Abi Daker alternates between the U.K. and Cyprus and is an artist of illustrated maps and cityscapes.  Her website is here

As I pointed out in the beginning, map art isn't new.

L.A. 91 & 110 Garden
Artist: Lisa Fulton

But one artist, my new acquaintance, Lisa Fulton, wouldn't have found her particular metier if President Eisenhower hadn't decided to expand the American highway system in the 1950s.  Lisa discovered the engineered beauty of the cloverleaf. . .

Chicago: The Circle Interchange I-290 and I-90/I-94
Artist: Lisa Fulton

. . . the circle exchange . . .

On the New Jersey Turnpike: I-95 Junction with I-18
Artist: Lisa Fulton
. . . the turnpike. . .

I-95 & I-695 Baltimore
Artist: Lisa Fulton
. . . and the braided exchange. Sinuous, at times as visually puzzling as a cat's cradle, her art fascinates.

Be sure to view her interpretations of highway systems in foreign capitals.  Lisa's website is here .
And that's what I've been thinking about lately.


  1. Karen, what a nice surprise! I would like to send you an email to thank you properly, but can't find an email address for you (I don't use FB). Could you send me one so I can reply?

    Another great post, and an excellent gathering of disparate products with an underlying connection.

  2. What a fabulous array--I love maps, always have. Thanks so much for sharing my collages. For some reason using maps in the is really important to me.