Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Joy of Mapping

Do you ever think of careers you might have pursued, but for one reason or another didn’t follow up on? My list has never been a long one, but I did seriously consider becoming a cartographer at one point. This could be why I often include maps in my collage work now.
When I was in my early teens, a friend’s brother loaned me The Lord of the Rings because I was so excited by the maps Tolkien had included. Somehow they helped make his mythical world come alive for me.
By the time I was in my last year of high school, there were only two of us left taking geography. My teacher Mrs. Reddy was from New Delhi and trained as a classical Indian dancer. I can’t remember what the other student did during our classes, but I recall Mrs. Reddy practising her dance moves while I was drawing maps with a fountain pen, and then carefully filling them in with colored pencil. Depending on the map I was doing, I would add polar bears, whales and Hawaiian dancing girls.
Mrs. Reddy and I bonded over the map/dance thing and from time to time, I would usher at one of her performances. Of course I had to wear a sari on these occasions and once I stepped on the hem and the whole glorious outfit unravelled.

Well, I guess I got off topic here didn’t I? But I find that’s what happens when maps are involved. They always seem to lead me somewhere else.


tgarrett said...

I love maps and when I taught young children one of the art projects we did was to create a culture and the first project was to make a map of this place. Wonderful image today Susan!

Anonymous said...

Andy and I made our first date over a mapping table. He was a cartographer for over 30 years and started making maps when they did them on linen. He created all the Ontario highway maps and we still have a big collection from various areas. My favourite is my map of all the roads in Jamaica showing where my family came from.


Joan said...

Oh my goodness....this is so cool. I love it. Joan

Leslie Jane Moran said...

Wonderful post Susan.