May 27, 2012
by fosco lucarelli
Stephen Walter‘s maps are the result of an intersection of signs and symbols. In Walter’s practice, objects tend to be replaced by their representation, evolving into intricate geographies of both real places and fictitious lands.
So far his work has explored the city of Liverpool, London (“The island”), and also London’s underground.
“Britain is a collection of islands and it undoubtedly forms part of our identity. This provincialism; the centre of many industries and in particular the London Centric Art world and its rise again to a world city status add to its identity as an icon, separated from the rest of the country. I wanted to perceive London as another one of these ‘islands’, and so when mapping the coastline around its Borough edges I was happy to discover Carshalton Beaches coinciding with this border.”
“The resulting map, a spoof of the historical ones of old, would challenge the first impressions of its viewer; touching on the Capital’s vastness, its secrets and its undercurrents. With this process in mind, I began to edit the information, keeping what I felt were historically important, interesting, relevant and amusing. These fantastical additions and epithets are purposefully innocent and acidic, trivial and serious. The Map is as much about the personality of its viewer than it is about of my own. In other words it acts as a mirror.”
Map of Liverpool 2008-09
In the Map of Subterranean London, Walter looked for buried rivers, Tube lines, tunnels, bunkers, sewers along with unsolved secrets, murders and mysteries of the hidden side of the town.
Map of Subterranean London