I could sit with a map in my lap and be happily amused for hours, charting new courses, exploring mountain ranges, lake shores, and river trajectories. Fantasies of trips and visions of beautiful landscapes tantalize my brain. When I was in college, my boyfriend gave me a map of Baja, California because he knew how much I liked maps. What is even more mesmerizing is when artists transform maps and create new landscapes, like the ones Shannon Rankin creates. She forges new mountains, erupts volcanoes, cuts roads, and peels back the world and then adds layers to reveal wholly different and much more interesting version.
Shannon and her husband, Justin, have a studio together in Rangley, Maine, where they both create art, and sometimes collaboratively, on their joint project they call Intersect. In her own art, Shannon deconstructs maps, embroiders paper, and creates large intricately patterned installations, where it may take a few minutes to even fully appreciate the entire piece.
In her own words: "I combine the visual elements of maps, anatomical illustrations and natural forms to explore themes of travel, healing, and time. While bearing traces of the original form, I deconstruct maps to create new geographies, suggesting the potential for a broader landscape."
Shannon's maps are just as mesmerizing to me as the original versions, and leave you imagining a much different world.
If you want to know more about Shannon and her studio, there's a lovely interview with her over at paper n stitch.
Germinate, up close
Germinate, from a distance
[Shannon Rankin | Flickr | Shannon's Blog | Etsy]