BRIEF: The aim of the eleven artists is to create a textile and mixed-media travelling exhibition. The initial inspiration was the map of the Western Hemisphere embroidered by Elizabeth Cook (c.1800) that shows the voyages of her husband James Cook currently housed at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney. Elizabeth Cook’s map provided a starting point from which the concept of ‘map’ can be understood and interpreted in both concrete and abstract ways. Maps can be about many things; geography, history, geology, personal space, migration, movement, memory, travel, genealogy.

Exhibition Dates

Museum of the Riverina,

Botanic Gardens site, Wagga Wagga: March 15 to April 29, 2012

Shoalhaven City Arts Centre,

12 Berry Street, Nowra: May 31 to July 26, 2012

Launch Saturday, June 2, 12noon to 2pm

McGlade Gallery, ACU Strathfield campus, June 15 - July 6, 2013

Cessnock Regional Art Gallery, 16 Vincent Street, Cessnock, Feb 19 to March 16, 2014

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Japanese maps

Robin has discovered a wonderful on-line collection of maps of Japan.

The Japanese Historical Map Collection contains about 2,300 early maps of Japan and the World. The collection was acquired by the University of California from the Mitsui family in 1949 and is housed on the Berkeley campus in the East Asian Library.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Embroiderers Guild's maps

On Sunday October 17 we visited the Embroiderers Guild of NSW in Concord.

They have two framed, embroidered maps that were worked within seven years of each other. The older, worked in 1798 is of the counties of England and Wales. It is worked in silk and wool on very closely woven (?) linen cloth. The ink that was used to draw the map and write the names of the counties and their principal towns seems to have contained some kind of bleach.

We thought that the writing was printed until we looked at it with a strong magnifying glass and found that it was finely embroidered in black silk. The counties are outlined in coarser woollen yarn in larger, clumsier stitches. Perhaps it was a joint effort of governess and pupil.

The second map is worked on a more open weave linen cloth. It is a map of Europe with the capital cities noted (although sometimes not positioned accurately.) The countries are outlined with several rows of coloured, cross worked silks. The countries names sometimes have a larger first letter with colour added to the black silk. These are generally 2 over 2 cross stitches but the smaller wording is worked in one over one.

Some of the names of the countries were a surprise: like Candia for Cyprus.

Friday, 1 October 2010

The west and the map of the world

The ABC's Artworks broadcast a feature about maps and the politics implicit in them. It is available as a podcast and worth listening to.

"Maps haven't always told us where to go. Often they've told us what to think -- about ourselves and about other people. Early maps were powerful documents not because they were accurate -- mostly they weren't -- but because they reflected the politics and ideologies of the world of the map-maker."