Cartographic Translations is a series of three dimensional textile sculptures highlighting the connection between land, cartography and identity. Cartographic Translations #3 moves on from Ireland, or any specific culture but speaks more generally about mapping and cartography.
Cartographic Translations #3 deals with the impossibility of an objective map. When writing my thesis, ‘Cartography as a Cultural Practice’, I argued that all maps were intentionally or unintentionally objective and reflect the culture they are produced in. In Lewis Carroll’s fictional, ‘Sylvie and Bruno Concluded’ (1893), they make a perfect map— a map on the scale of one mile to one mile. When one character asked was it used, the responses was as follows:
"It has never been spread out, yet, the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.”
This puts into humorous terms the impossibility of an accurate map. Human involvement causes maps to lose their objectivity. This gave me the freedom to create my own subjective map. I borrowed globe gores, road lines and contour lines, having no obligation to scale, map type, or indeed the truth, to prove the subjectivity of every map. I have used a mixture of hand embroidery and multihead embroidery to create this piece.