Maps Exhibitor: Andy Bolton

Andy Bolton is a printmaker & cartographer investigating mapping conventions. Through printed and digital media he seeks to expose the inherent systems of power and boundaries presented to us as fact. At present his main focus is on exploring how maps convey the passage of time and inform our concept of society’s thresholds and limits.

For the ‘Maps‘ exhibition Andy will be displaying a print that looks at how fictional characters from literature, and their authors, have inhabited London:

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1807–1835)
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (June 1923)
Zadie Smith, White Teeth (1975–2000)

All three authors have set their fictions in a non-fictional place, London. Each writing about the London that they know, in order to give their characters real details, and actual places in which to live and work.

By picking out the geographic details of each novel it is possible to construct a map of the London each inhabits. Showing the ways the city has provided a changing backdrop, across the centuries.

When all three novels are combined it is possible to see the shared space, the common ground of the city, where these characters may bump into each other across time:

“I made the best of my way to Fleet Street, and there got a late hackney chariot and drove to the Hummums in Covent Garden.” [Great Expectations]
“She looked up Fleet Street.  She walked just a little way towards St. Paul’s, shyly, like some one penetrating on tiptoe,” [Mrs Dalloway]
“Summer of 1955 Archie went to Fleet Street with his best winkle-pickers on, looking for work as a war correspondent.” [White Teeth]

Andy will be giving a presentation on the impossibilities of mapping at ‘Looking Closer at Mapping‘ on Friday 8th May.

75 Boundaries of London, Andy Bolton
75 Boundaries of London, Andy Bolton