Mapping the imagination

‘Gelam Nguzu Kazi (Dugong My Son)’, David Bosun.

When I brood about the subjects of maps, I start to think about collections. The many collections of details, line, curves, colours, data, countries that are all on one sheet of paper, and how they can express all of these assets with just a layout. However, when it came to exploring in to this particular map: ‘Gelam Nguzu Kazi[Dugong My son]’, I was left enthralled by how expressive and different it was, compared to the many maps I’ve seen previously.


(‘Gelam Nguzu Kazi (Dugong My Son)’, David Bosun. 2001)

This map in particular was created by David Bosun, using the process of linocut on paper. Young artists with in the 1990’s in the Torres Strait Islands, North of Australia started to rediscover the local material culture and they decided to make linocut prints to celebrate the traditional visual patterns, myths and many of the other stories that they had found out about.

Apparently, this print in particular tells the story of shaping the land and they have used the map as a narrative. That’s one of the most intriguing aspects I have found out so far about this map, I would’ve easily mistaken it for simply another image, though, with its explanation beside it, I can fully understand what’s going on with it. It does start to make me question, whether there are many other unusual forms besides maps for story telling or for the opposite. For example, if there was another way of showing or expressing the directions to get some where or the location of a place, but it’s depicted in another form, other than just a map. Thinking further on this, I feel that how the artist was able to portray a whole story with this form alone is very creative.




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