This project originated when I was Artist in Residence in the town of Coaticook, Québec in 2013. I began by physically getting to know the territory, or rather, reacquainting myself with this territory of my childhood.
I made a deliberate practice of walking every street in town to establish a sense of its shape and to understand how it appears on a two-dimensional map. I also studied maps from the public works department depicting various aspects of the town infrastructure including the sewer systems, the property lines, the aqueduct system, the waste water system and the topographic map. All of these maps reveal different ways of knowing the territory and also lend themselves to a more abstract appreciation of shapes and patterns.
To transform my physical experience of the territory into my work I started making embroideries of these maps – not really knowing where this would lead me.
The texture of embroidery makes a wonderful matrix from which to create frottage, or rubbing, prints. Similar to the way one might make a rubbing of a gravestone, these prints are created by using the texture of the embroidery to create the marks on a mylar, a polyester type of paper.
The resulting body of work includes the original embroideries, the frottage prints on mylar, as well as paintings based on the shapes and patterns found in cartographic representations.
Arts Nova Scotia and the Ville de Coaticook has generously supported this project.
map prints on mylar