Screenshot of 'Groundlines and Puddle Worlds: maps as records of real and imaginary worlds' by Ruth Broadbent (Living Maps Review, Issue 12, Spring 2022, Mapworks) with red text and Puddle Worlds map image.

Groundlines and Puddle Worlds: maps as records of real and imaginary worlds

April 30, 2022

I was delighted to be asked to write an article for Living Maps Review, Spring 2022 edition. Having read the Review over the years and attended various events, it is deeply rewarding to see my work featured alongside artists and writers whose work I hugely admire. Many thanks to Debbie Kent for her editorial support and for her thoughtful descriptions of mapping in my work during our email conversations, and to the team at Living Maps for inviting me inviting me into their wonderful world of mapping.

Read more about the content of my article and of other articles in this edition of the Review below.

A thin black line traces around the edges of the inky traces of a puddle
Ruth Broadbent: Puddle World IV (detail)

‘In Mapworks, Ruth Broadbent introduces us to her two projects, Groundlines and Puddle Worlds. In Groundlines, Ruth travelled an ancient chalk line from Norfolk to Weymouth taking rubbings of the ground with a pencil and paper. In Puddle Works, Ruth used the restrictions of the pandemic lockdowns to focus on puddles in her locale, where she traced the faint watermarks left on paper laid over them. Together, these artworks highlight how slowing down and focusing on the details of our environment can reveal novel perspectives on how we view the world, asking us to consider the links between the material world around us and the imaginary worlds that can be mapped from it.’

Mike Duggan, Editor-in-Chief of Living Maps Review. Extract from his Editorial for Living Maps Review, Issue 12, Spring 2022.

A small square of paper with a pencil ground rubbing on it, placed in situ on a sandy track that disappears into the distance.
A Line Across England

You can read this issue here: Here’s a taster of what is in it, as described in a recent email from Living Maps Review:

“This is a bumper issue of mapping practices, critical articles, mapworks, interviews and reviews. Waypoints includes an account of the recently launched Refugee Map from the Wiener Holocaust Library and a research article by Barbara Brayshay and Drew Mackie who outline their approach to participatory mapping with a Black and minority ethnic community in the borough of Lambeth, South London. In Mapworks, Ruth Broadbent introduces us to her two projects, Groundlines and Puddle Worlds and section editor Debbie Kent details how maps shared on Twitter are being used to tell the (a) story of the war in Ukraine. Lines of Desire includes three articles by mapping artists describing a wide range of projects, variously involving explorations of weaving, stitching and dancing as creative paradigms of participatory mapping. In the Reviews section, Mark Harvey offers a critical response to the recently published Atlas de L’Anthropocène [Atlas of the Anthropocene], and Phil Cohen review’s The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd. Point Nemo features a fictional account of Putin’s Black Sea retreat come-war room, provides a satirical take on Putin’s mapping and management strategy in Ukraine.”

A row of small squares of paper spread out in a horizontal line, showing a mix of pencil ground rubbings and the written text on the back.

Click on the links below to read more about each of the works described in this article:

Read more on Puddle Worlds here.

Read more and see drawings from each Groundlines journey mentioned by clicking on the following links: A Line Across England, An Island Line, Five Rivers Line.

Read more on TIDE here and on ‘Watermarks, tide, drawing and mapping water’ here.

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