Existing patterns on maps form intricate portraits

Existing patterns on maps form intricate portraits

Welch artist, Ed Fairburn, works in layers. His imagery does not begin on a blank white page, but instead starts with a map. By finding faces in the existing patterns of roads and rivers, Fairburn’s series combines portraiture with geography.

Just as the lines, crinkles and wrinkles of our faces show our personal history of laughter, smiles and worries, the geographic layers of his portraits map a place and a landscape. Because he begins with the existing structure of the map, Fairburn has described the pieces as “pre-fragmented.” Through the process of combining and refining, the artist develops his imagery by finding form in these fragments.

01 Fairburn

Image above: Pencil on a cropped map of Lake Windermere in England.

02 Fairburn

Pencil on a map of the England’s Peak District.

03 Fairburn

Ink on a map if the city of Norwich.

04 Fairburn

Ink on a topographic map of Innsbruck and surrounding areas

05 Fairburn

Ink on a reproduced military map of the Western Front.

06 Fairburn

Ink on a 1977 road map of Germany.

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