Unmapping workshop: Living Maps Network



The workshop aimed to consider what an embodied map could look like. How can we create a map of memories and places that cannot, or perhaps should not be mapped. How can we explore drawing and mark making as a process to capture something which is felt but not seen? In pairs we took turns in exploring how giving different sensory information, different forms of touch, strokes, pressures, movements and speeds to the partner's hand and arm, could lead to corresponding marks and lines on paper.
Participants were asked to think of an emotionally significant memory that was located in a particular place. Using sensory drawing techniques, the pairs took turns in physically and sensorily describing the place of their memory, the spatial layout, significant objects, and specific dynamics in that place using their 'mind's eye' as a guide. They did not need to share anything about the memory nor the place in words, the exercise was purely a means to connect to the place and the memory within it in an internal way. The drawings (or maps) were a mass of lines, shapes and markings of different qualities, textures and gestures. Each drawing specific to the particular dynamic of the pair.
The final part of the workshop was to consider a conscious reflection on this space and this memory. Everyone worked on a sheet of tracing paper on top of the drawing/map of their place to add any details that came up for them whilst doing the exercise; words, colours, objects, patterns, movement through the space, the presence or absence of people or conversation.


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