Anna Maria Bellman intricately translates cartography into her own unique style by simplifying their elements into positive and negative space. She cuts precise slices into paper, constructing sections of maps of cities all over the world. Each hand cut incision represent paths on a map, building up the framework for a city. The artist’s work is heavily influenced from her extensive travels. Originally hailing from Germany, she has adventured to an impressive amount of cities including London, Berlin, New York, Paris, and Rome, just to name a few. All of these incredibly complex and diverse cities are represented in her work as a black and white composition of crisscrossing lines, intersecting and forming the streets and rivers.
Many of her cutout maps do not even appear as such, but rather an abstract grid of geometric lines, forming different shapes and patterns like tapestries. When the light shines through Anna Bellman’s maps, you can see their shadows creating a three-dimensional affect. Having explored more wilderness destinations as well, Bellman’s other works are highly floral and inspired from lush nature. Her nature-filled works include amazing patterns cut by hand, as intricate and delicate as those found naturally in the wild. Although Anna Bellman’s body of work can represent two ends of the spectrum, nature and city, the continuous monochromatic choice of using white paper unifies her brilliant work.
Artist Kim Rugg’s incredibly meticulous artwork consists of slicing up and breaking down everyday sources of information, like newspapers and maps. Dissecting newspapers, she rearranges the words and letters, creating a new depth of meaning. She often cuts the letters out and places them in alphabetical order, throwing the message in disarray. If these newspapers were real, they may cause panic and mayhem, as they disrupt our normal access to worldwide information. Can you imagine if even online news from all countries suddenly appeared as Rugg’s newspapers do? Both her surgically cut newspapers and transformed maps deconstruct society norms of information and the restrictions our culture has placed upon them, and therefore us as well.
This London-based artists slices up maps and pieces them together again backwards, or purposely arranging the once solid land mass in a way that fuses together all elements of land, border, and ocean. She also creates her maps by hand, erasing borderlines and geopolitical issues that are so relevant in today’s society. Her recreations of man-made territories display a new topography; a world with no boundaries, where we all can live with no territorial restrictions. Each carefully incision made forms a part of the whole, redirecting your view to its small details. Rugg’s complex work invited you to investigate the information laid out right in front of you that is often overlooked. Other work of her that require our close inspection to really understand her subtle manipulations include magazines, comic books, and even cereal boxes. Her work can be found at Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City, CA.
There are many kinds of maps to help find our way in this world. Political, road, and topographic maps may be familiar, but in Chilean artist Rodrigo Arteaga’s hands, maps are made by and of cultivated fungi. Meticulously grown and preserved, Arteaga’s maps are simultaneously science lesson and aesthetic object.
“Convergence” is a mapamundi (map of the world); an installation composed of filamentary fungi in glass containers. The propagation these fungi propagated represented the surface of the earth. The other components of the work were elements that evidence the research process: photocopies of mycology books, pencil drawings that imitate the growth of fungi, sketches, photographs, and Petri dishes with laboratory tests.
A second project, “Atlas de Chile Regionalizado,” consists of 15 glass containers in which different types of filamentary fungi represent each one of the 15 regions of Chile. The living organic matter of the fungi is delimited and cut in the shape of each region, then preserved under resin.
These interdisciplinary works involve people from interdisciplinary areas of thought. Their beauty is in the relationship between art and science; order and chaos.
The work of Matthew Picton is something more than a map, even something more than a model city. He meticulously builds cities from paper. Each buildings wall is built from a strip of paper leaving its interior empty. In a way his three dimensional maps get at the personality of a city. Speaking about cartography Picton says,
“There is some intrinsic quality to cartography that goes beyond the scientific document – a beauty of form and detail, a record of past times and places, something that lives as a world in which imagination can flow; places to re-visit, places to re-imagine, a world to re-make itself in the imagination.” [via]
Several of his pieces depict cities before and after a natural disaster or war. The charred strips of paper mark burnt or crumbled buildings. Pockets of burnt paper seem more like injuries than a cold record of a past fact.
London based artist Emma Mcnally makes abstract graphite drawings that look like city grids and star maps. But this description doesn’t come close to doing them justice. Usually large in scale, the drawings emit a wizened, emotive quality. Somehow, each miniscule mark of graphite takes on endless personality. In the end, the works are just as effective as maps of life’s random chaos as they are as any type of reference to formal cartography. (via)