Tag Archives: cartography

mapping the unmappable


Here’s the dragonfly I embroidered inspired by the real one I have preserved in my freezer. Although this isn’t the greatest scan of it, I am pleased with how it turned out. It is subtle on it’s black background (I plan to wear this scarf and don’t like to be too awfully gaudy with my accessories!). I was also able to give it just enough iridescent sparkle to allude to the real thing, which is why one reason I think dragonflies are so enchanting in the first place.

Often I find myself following what I think of as “threads”. These are ideas or concepts that interest me, but perhaps for no currently apparent reason. When this happens I’ll google the interest, or better yet, hit the downtown library and look up books that are related to it in some way. Since dragonflies were on my mind the other day, not only did I draw one with thread, but I looked up the symbolism behind them, and what that wisdom might offer. What I found seemed fitting, like maybe I needed to read it and was meant to find it…

Meanwhile, another promising thread I am currently following is cartography. Both an art and a science, the study and production of maps gives people what they feel is a firm understanding of a particular place. What I am interested in is the deeper meaning behind the concept of a map. Can we map time? Experiences? What might that look like? And what about the places in our minds. Herman Melville wrote “It is not on any map; true places never are.” I am interested in reinterpreting existing maps, creating maps of the unmappable.

This is where my thinking is on this drippy, gray (but thankfully, somewhat unseasonably mild!) day. It feels invigorating to be in research mode. Fostering new ideas always puts a spring in my step. We’ll see how this manifests in the studio….