Giant Participatory Chalk Map of Camberwell

A commissioned work in collaboration with the Camberwell Arts Festival and Camberwell Identity Project at the opening event “Art of the Party” on Camberwell Green (June 2019). Together with local residents, we created a giant chalk map of the Camberwell Area of London where I also live. The exercise invited people to create a map of the area they live, including places in the neighbourhood that are personally significant to them. This included both places which are there currently, as well as those that no longer exist. Throughout the day, both children and adults contributed their drawings. It was important to me that the map did not not need to be to scale, but rather that it was a playful exercise in collaborative drawing, and a conversation starter about places in the area and their significance to people on a personal level. The boards were then briefly exhibited at a local empty shop unit in Butterfly walk shopping parade, before I cut them up into small fragments and used them as surfaces to paint on, making sure to preserve traces of the map drawing underneath.

A selection of the paintings can be seen in the images below.

The map itself has been geo-referenced and is available as a layer on the Layers of London website. In 202o this layer has been voted the Greatest Layer of All Time by a public vote on Twitter! To use the layer, click this link: select Use this Layer, then I'm Done, and zoom into Camberwell, or type it in the search box. You can then use the map tools to change the transparency of the layer over an existing map, or select other historical maps from the selection.

You can also watch the recording of a webinar where I talk about the chalk map and other unmapping projects here