the World is under my feet

the World is under my feet
screen shot from the movie 'Elizabeth the Golden Age'

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Stephen Walter's 'The Island' (2008)

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
Material: Cardboard
Size: detail 1-6: 21cm x 14.9cm; detail 8-13: 14.8cm x 10.5cm
Condition: Mint
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 (permission granted)

Series of postcards purchased from the British Library:
 detail 1
 detail 2
 detail 3
 detail 4
 detail 5
 detail 6
 detail 8
 detail 9
 detail 10
 detail 11
 detail 12

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:

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