Get it all mapped out

Get it all mapped out

As part of the Stories of the World series of exhibitions across the UK, the London Transport Museum is inviting the public to help create new maps for its major exhibition, Mind the Map.

Opening in May, the project shows maps used as objects of art and design, as well as navigational tools. One of the most well-known examples is London’s own Tube map, designed by London Underground employee Harry Beck in 1931. The fact that it is topologically and not geographically accurate – the physical locations don’t matter as long as you can plan the journey – has given it an iconic status, imitated and developed by transport companies around the world.

The public are invited to participate in the exhibition, aiding artists Agnes Poitevin-Navarre and Susan Stockwell, who will use the information gathered to create pieces of art which examine the relationship between identity and place.

For the exhibition, Poitevin-Navarre asked Londoners: ‘Where do you want to be?’ She will collate the answers to produce a work entitled The Land of Hopeful Commuters!, detailing the responses from each borough of London. So far, she’s received answers as diverse as ‘Shaking my tail feathers at Sydney Mardi Gras 2013’ from a resident of Lewisham, ‘Cocooned in a blanket of love’ from Hackney, and ‘At an Arsenal vs Tottenham match’ from Waltham Forest.

Stockwell has previously used everyday products to explore ecology, mapping and geo-politics; using maps to create sculpture and objects to create maps. For example, Jerusalem, 2011, featured in The Art of Mapping, The Air Gallery, 2011, is a map of the UK created entirely from computer components. Now, she will use transport tickets – from the UK as well as international cities – donated by the public to create a map of the world, each ticket acting as a memory of the journeys taken by people. There will also be a selection of historic maps from the museum’s own collection on show.

The series Stories of the World explores the themes home, identity, journeys and place, and is part of the bigger London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme. To participate visit

‘Mind the Map: Inspiring Art, Design and Cartography,’ 18 May – 28 October 2012.
London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2 (020 7379 6344;

Pictured: original Tube map by Harry Beck

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