Title: Set of postcards of 'The Island' for the exhibition 'Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art'
Designer/Artist: Stephen Walter
Publisher: The British Library
Year of publish: 2008
Size: detail 1-6: 21cm x 14.9cm; detail 8-13: 14.8cm x 10.5cm
Date of purchase: 4th June 2010
I revisited the British Library on 4th June 2010 not for my own research on the East India Company log books but for the exhibition 'Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art'. Stephen Walter's The Island was one of the most attractive maps in the exhibition.
Quoted from the exhibition catalogue Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art, Walter's The Island 'provides an interesting take on the London-centric view of the English capital city as independent from the rest of the country, while alluding to the fact that the United Kingdom is itself made up of a collection of islands. Equally strong is the map's display of a level of local knowledge and pride - crucial both to the artist, a native Londoner with an "ingrown passion for the city," and to the viewer, who requires a level of knowledge to appreciate fully both the tone and the depth of information from which the map is constructed.' (p.134, 2010)
The original size of the print is 140cm x 200cm and created in 2008. Walter stated that 'After producing a map of the UK and Ireland I came to the decision that I would make one of London. With an ingrown passion for the city as a native Londoner, I began this undertaking in 2006. It was to span over two years.' (p.135, 2010)
As the print contains many tiny details, Walter used a magnifying glass to produce and to read it. He began to project the map with a basic trace of the outlines, main roads and railways and did the rest by free-hand through the use of other existing maps. After laying down the basic geographical and historical information through a couple of the informal top-left to bottom-right processes, Walter filled the details from one area of the map to another. The drawing was completed after 1.5 years with much research and application, and another 6 months to dissect 34 prints from the original scan. (p.135, 2010)
Although I could not purchase the original print (well, I guess it might be far beyond my budget), postcards are the alternative way to collect the funny images.
image from http://stephenwalter.co.uk/drawings/drawa1.php (permission granted)
Series of postcards purchased from the British Library:
This is a merged image compiled by 10 postcards
Special thanks to Mr. Stephen Walter's permission for publishing the images of his works here. Large format can be viewed as follow: