Imaginary Mapmaking – Emily Garfield

Emily Garfield creates intricate maps of imaginary places that explore the origins of cities and the function of maps themselves. Her drawings are inspired by the visual language of maps and the fractal similarity that cities share with biological processes such as the patterns of cells and neurons. She has a studio at Artisan’s Asylum, a local makerspace, and organizes Somerville Open Studios. Check out her work at www.emilygarfield.com.

emily garfield

“My intricate pen and watercolor drawings are inspired by the visual language of maps, as well as the fractal similarity that cities share with biological processes such as the patterns of cells and neurons. I invent each place as I draw, thinking about clustering of neighborhoods, patterns of roads and the individual selective memory that an inhabitant would use to navigate their city. The physical materials also influence each work; the topography of watercolor paper, the force of gravity on ink, or the tensile limitations of paper all structure my drawings in the same way that a landscape influences urban growth.”

imaginary mapmaking

In this class, participants (artistic and otherwise—everyone is welcome!) will be encouraged to explore ideas of line and composition through the lens of cartography. Participants will learn techniques to organically “grow” map-like drawings from the shapes of familiar places, from stylized land forms, or completely from their own imagination.

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One thought on “Imaginary Mapmaking – Emily Garfield

  1. Pingback: Imaginary Mapmaking with Emily Garfield | somerville skillshare

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