MapCRAFT

Expressive Mapping in the Clyde and Avon Valley

Filed under History & Archaeology

MapCRAFT was a project that explored cartographic traditions and heritage by encouraging people to make maps of their own that express their perspectives of their surrounding landscape.  It encouraged people to express the details of the landscape that are important to them, as well as encouraged people to be creative and have fun with cartography.  

We worked with several different groups, including small adult groups, primary school classes and the 2nd Motherwell Cub Scouts. The groups created maps that pipointed landmarks in their area that they felt were important to them, from where their houses, churches and local football pitches were, to their friends' houses, historical structures and schools.  The maps they produced were presented in many different styles.

The first style of map we explored was the traditional topographic map. Without paying attention to scale, some of our participants created maps of their local landscape, filling the pages with symbols and labels to represent how they viewed their local area.  Others created maps that mapped out the story of William Wallace and his travels through the Clyde Valley, using symbols and notations to point out landmarks of importance to his life. Others still collaborated to fill in stories of fruit growing in the Clyde and Avon Valleys on a pre-printed first edition OS Map of Carluke and Lanark Parishes. 

Map showing a Summer Holiday in Scotland and England. 

The next style was inspired by how other cultures view mapmaking and the landscape. By exploring indigenous methods of transmitting geographical information, participants were encouraged to interpret their local landscape in new and different ways. Some of the maps were inspired by the works of Aboriginal Australians,  people of the Marshall Islands, Native North Americans among others. The maps inspired by these indigenous cultures were largely abstract works of art where the participants re-interpreted their local landscapes through the lenses of stories and geographical connections, rather than topology. 

Examples of indigenous mapping techniques that inspired some creative maps of the Clyde and Avon Valley. Participants also created maps based on historical mapping types such as the T and O map of the Medieval period, or the Tabula Peutingeriana, which is a stylized road map of the Roman Empire. By re-imagining the Clyde and Avon Valley through the eyes of past peoples, participants found yet another way to understand their local landscape. 

Detail of Medieval Map by Mathew Paris showing Clydesdale. Finally, participants created maps that expressed a reaction to their landscape. At Hoollet Row in Chatelherault Country Park, after surveying the remains of the Miner's Cottages, volunteers collected artifacts such as broken pottery, bricks and glass along the banks of the Avon water and created an expressive plan of  Hoollet Row . This map combined elements of the local landscape as well as items that could have belonged to the people living at the Hoollet Row during the last century. 

  • Motherwell as a Unicorn

    Motherwell as a Unicorn

    Completed by the Motherwell 2nd Cub Scouts, inspired by the bark paintings by Aboriginal Australians.
  • Motherwell

    Motherwell

    A Map of Motherwell in the style of Australian Aboriginal Bark Paintings, by the 2nd Motherwell Cub Scouts.
  • Transport Links in the Clyde Valley

    Transport Links in the Clyde Valley

    A Map of the Clyde Valley inspired by a Native American map of Virginia.
  • Abstract Map of Motherwell

    Abstract Map of Motherwell

    An Abstract Map of Motherwell by the 2nd Motherwell Cub Scouts.
  • Map of Motherwell with focus on the Local Widlife

    Map of Motherwell with focus on the Local Widlife

    This map by the 2nd Motherwell Cub Scouts was inspired by Aboriginal Australian Bark Paintings.
  • Topographic Map of Motherwell

    Topographic Map of Motherwell

    A creative interpretation of the topography of Motherwell.
  • Navigational Chart

    Navigational Chart

    Inspired by the Sailing navigation starts made by people in the Marshall Islands, this Map situates the Clyde Valley in relation to the rest of the globe.
  • Representational Map

    Representational Map

    This map is inspired by the satirical maps of World War I, and attempts to communicate the local area through symbolic figures.
  • Sectional Map

    Sectional Map

    This map uses colour to delineate specific sections of the local landscape, drawing imagined borders between neighbourhoods.
  • Topographic Map of Motherwell Present and Future

    Topographic Map of Motherwell Present and Future

  • Abstract Map

    Abstract Map

    Inspired by Aboriginal Australian Bark Paintings.
  • Statement Map

    Statement Map

    Inspired by the spirit of the satirical maps of WWI, this map makes a statement about the traffic in the creator's local landscape.
  • Story Map

    Story Map

    This map explains a journey through the UK and into the Clyde Valley from the perspective of a visitor.
  • Artifact Plan

    Artifact Plan

    This plan of Hoollet Row is created using found objects and artifacts of human interaction with the landscape.
  • Crafting Maps

    Crafting Maps

  • Local T and O Map

    Local T and O Map

    Inspired by the Medieval T and O Maps, this map places Hamilton at the centre of importance in the Clyde and Avon Valley.
  • Journey Map of William Wallace

    Journey Map of William Wallace

    This map attempts to tell the story of William Wallace using traditional mapping techniques.
  • Fruit Growing Story Map

    Fruit Growing Story Map

    This map layers stories of the fruit growing in the Clyde Valley over top of a first Edition OS Map print.
  • Motherwell as a Unicorn
  • Motherwell
  • Transport Links in the Clyde Valley
  • Abstract Map of Motherwell
  • Map of Motherwell with focus on the Local Widlife
  • Topographic Map of Motherwell
  • Navigational Chart
  • Representational Map
  • Sectional Map
  • Topographic Map of Motherwell Present and Future
  • Abstract Map
  • Statement Map
  • Story Map
  • Artifact Plan
  • Crafting Maps
  • Local T and O Map
  • Journey Map of William Wallace
  • Fruit Growing Story Map


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