OPEN DATA SCREEN PRINT
Landform is a visual experiment which manipulates open source topographical data.
Organic shapes and patterns are almost universal at various scales, so mountains and micro-organisms can appear the same. Kathleen Jamie draws similar observations in her essay Pathologies
which explores the ‘unseen landscape within’
. She compares the landscape of cancer cells under the microscope to countryside, estuaries and islands. ‘It was like slipping into a dream. I was looking down from a great height onto a pink landscape, a map of the familiar’
The design uses twelve open source ordnance survey data sets
of the Lake District and Cumbria, compiling and manipulating these to form a single landscape. Topographical data has been reduced of all visual clutter and distraction (grid lines, boundaries, settlements) leaving only the natural contour lines.
A circular crop is used to abstract the appearance, intentionally making it difficult to interpret scale. Instead, the viewer is encouraged to appreciate the shapes and patterns themselves, free from prescribed context.
At first glance, viewers’ appear to intuitively recognise the pattern as a natural form, but their initial interpretation of scale is wild. People see different things; a microscopic organism, tissue sample, section of a brain or organ, a mammogram, a neurone and even the moon.
It is only upon closer inspection that the context becomes apparent - when mountains and lakes come into focus and you realise the true scale of what you are looking at and hopefully a deeper appreciation of natural forms.
* This experiment would not have been possible without the efforts of Mark and Lucy from LUMA studio
who were the only screen-printers in town with the skill and ambition to successfully print the 0.2mm thick contour lines
Silk screen print:
White ink on Fedrigoni Sirio Ultra Black 260gsm
700 x 1000mm, contour lines c. 0.2mm thick
Lakeland Oak, hand-made in Cumbria by my brother Jacob Pawle
£90 unframed, £170 framed
Email me - benpawle at gmail dot com