Sun-Map

Sun-Map, 2009
Steel bar, muslin, mulberry and kozo papers, gouache, cotton thread, sunlight

Sun-Map is created in the leaf-form of Gesneria- a plant from the endangered cloud forests of Ecuador.

In the past three years I have made two research trips to the cloud forests, and the Gesneria leaf formation became a symbol of this fragile, threatened and ethereal place. The shape echoes child-like depictions of the sun’s rays, and resembles the curved lungs and trachea of humans and animals, which relates to the idea of forests as the ‘lungs of the earth’.

Sun-Map is a sculptural drawing; whilst making it I was drawing with steel to make the initial lines of the frame, drawing with scissors to create each individual piece of paper, and making a further drawing or illustration of map-lines and contours. The sculpture plays upon this layering process to build a sense of narrative or journey.

Not only does Sun-Map echo the sun’s rays, it relies on sunlight, which causes the sculpture’s layers to glow in different ways throughout the day, adding to the evocation of a solar symbol or icon. Through this, I hope to reveal a symbolic language or alphabet of the sun, or of our movement in relation to it.