Sunday, June 30, 2013

Textile Maps

Map art is one of my favorite things. I'm always gathering examples. I define it broadly to include any art map with maps, or of maps, artistic cartography, and the art of what is mappable. Today, I'm sharing a subset of what I've found: the maps made with textiles (especially map quilts and embroidery).

Haptic Lab, Great Lakes quilt

Haptic Lab, Paris quilt
Haptic Lab makea variety of wonderful quilt maps and kits so you can make your own. I think of the Great Lakes as home (though as a Canadian, I think they are missing the boat by only annotating the American side).

They've also made some lovely city map quilts and kits, including the ones for Paris and Boston, shown.

Former urban planner, Kathryn Clark made a series of 'foreclosure quilts' depicting bird's eye views of neighbourhoods with the foreclosed properties marked. She writes, "It was important to me to present the whole story in a way that would captivate people’s attention and make a memorable statement. Making map quilts seemed an ironic solution. Quilts act as a functional memory, an historical record of difficult times.  It is during times of hardship that people have traditionally made quilts, often resorting to scraps of cloth when so poor they could not afford to waste a single thread of fabric."

Kathryn Clark, Detroit Foreclosure Quilt, 22" x 44" Cheesecloth, linen, cotton and quilting thread.
Kathryn Clark, Cleveland Foreclosure Quilt, 2011. 25" x 60" Cotton, linen, recycled denim and embroidery thread. 

Kahryn Clark, Chicago Foreclosure Quilt, 2013. 31" x 42" Linen, cotton and embroidery thread.

Leah Evans uses appliqué, reverse appliqué, piecing, natural and synthetic dyeing, needle-felting, hand printing, and a variety of embroidery stitches to make her quilts, based on aerial photography, maps, and satellite imagery, though they may not be consciously based on specific places. The results are organic and beautiful.

Leah Evans, Estuary

Leah Evans, Development

Leah Evans, Isthmus Nocturn

Leah Evans, Tundra

See also Ian Hundley and his fabric map quilts.

Ian Hundley and his fabric map quilts

As described previously, Steele and Tomczak created Street of Heaven, a stitched, embroidered map of Toronto and specifically, Yonge STreet for STITCHES.

Steele and Tomczak, Street of Heaven 

Other amazing examples I've found of embroidered maps include:



Nicola Searle, Memory map of a route in my hometown, St. Albans.

Heidi Weiss
Flood Map (October 19-23, 2009), cotton thread on linen. 7" x 11"

Embroidered Buenos Aires map for travel guide cover. By Rita Smirna.

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