Sunday, 24 August 2008

GPS maps

In the shop window. Down a little narrow back street I had never walked before, though I don't know why. I used to walk past it twice a day on my way to and from work. Not my sort of shop, I thought. Lots of old prints, like you see in a solicitor's office. No prices on view. Polished windows that show too clear a reflection of your image.

It was in the front of the window furthest away from the door. Placed like it might not sell quickly. I caught a glance of it, couldn't believe my eyes. It had to be one of the most interesting things I had seen. 

Black ink on the smoothest white paper. Square format setting it off perfectly. Like a tracery on lichened wood, it suggested the movements of tiny creatures who live a life hidden from ours until the light catches their pathways. It was like a record of spidery steps taken across a web to check on prey and upkeep, made into an embroidery of lines with a slightly tentative hand. It was like a line inked over all the pathways I have ever walked in a year.

Artwork as distinctive as the tube map, but more flowing, more fickle, looking like chance discoveries had been left on this page rather than smoothed out and made neater round the edges. 

No A-Z. No famous landmarks marked. This was a new map of London.

This piece was inspired by seeing a print by Jeremy Wood - London GPS map 2006