What is a map? Why do we need them?
I discovered deep mapping when I read a book by Tim Ingold. ‘Lines’ draws on multiple disciplines and examines what walking, observing, storytelling, drawing and writing to name but a few, have in common. Ingold argues that everyone and everything is interconnected through the archeology of the line. I considered this. Process Art lends itself towards the use of nontraditional materials as well as nontraditional visual and sensory experiences. I decided that deep mapping could provide me with a means to feed my soul as well as providing a methodology that would facilitate encounters with public engagement.
This quality, tone and dynamic of walking art resulted in a series of ropes and knots. Seven in all; one for each walk and fewer than I had hoped to accomplish. To encapsulate the concept behind this project, I looked to OS maps for the answer.
Looking always for that elusive external source that will give us an answer to our woes is common practice. But what if we could fix ourselves by changing our responses; responding instead of reacting to the challenges that life throws our way?
My Wayfaring Map is my way of exploring this concept as a possibility. With the assistance of a very helpful man in Glasgow, the UK Map Centre agreed to print my map for me. It is to all intents and purposes, a legitimate map with a legend and a scale printed on really beautiful paper; A0 in size. Here is where my map is different. There is no map. Nothing. Nada, and in my own Geordie dialect: nowt.
Adding to the legend with statements and observations, I have subverted the meaning behind the legend. In leaving the detail, the lines, the pathways, roads, trails and visual clutter off the map, I am leaving the narrative open for each and every one of us to write our own story. To travail our highways and byways with an incredible opportunity to do it without pressing our own and each other’s self-destruct buttons. To narrow down our choices to those that truly have significance in our life. To leave judgement at the door, to slow down, to think and to just be who we want and need to be. Happy trails to us all!