Navigating Distances explores the role of mapping in navigating unfamiliar physical and emotional landscapes. By observing multiple overlapping ways of mapping and navigating felt experiences of distance and closeness, I have explored how these oppositional phenomena can be felt and expressed at the same moment.
Through the positioning of found objects on the surface of the ochre stained map, I have explored the relationship between distance and closeness. The objects fulfil the duty of land-markers, representing both spatial and sensory connections to place and land. Where the map lacks any navigable information, the placement of objects indicates movement and direction, creating a journey across the surface. Importantly, these land-markers are transitional, able to be moved, added to or subtracted each time the map is unfolded and created, representing the frustratingly transient nature of emotions associated with distance and closeness.
The three glass pigment bottles are reminiscent of collecting jars found in museums throughout the UK, often from early journeys of exploration and ‘discovery’ to Australia. By storing pigments and found objects that I too have transported across the oceans, I have drawn the parallels between those early journeys of discovery and my own.
Breath, blood and bone, three words written across the surface of the map, all relating to the ‘unseen’ physicality of the body. These words where chooses to reintroduce the physical body into emotional mapping. The words along with the small ‘x’, provide a grounding point for the objects to react with, reconnecting the transient and felt with the physical reality of the body in space.
The map folds in the work not only represent navigation but also time. Each time the work is unfolded and refolded the lines will very slowly change, the ochre will crack, the paper will begin to deteriorate. Demonstrating how the dimension of time has a critical role to play in the feelings of distance and closeness.