A Map of Hope Rock

I was commissioned to create this imagined island for Thames and Hudson’s ‘Archipelago; An Atlas of Imagined Islands’, edited by Dr Huw Lewis-Jones. The atlas was inspired by the 300th anniversary of the publication of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and I wanted the map to reflect the theme of survival with local foraging and survival notes. Hope Rock has it’s own imagined coordinates (off the coast of Devon, UK) with it’s own geography and history. It was important to me that the island seemed as ‘real’ as possible so these imagined stories are twisted together with genuine historical facts.Time was spent reading academic papers in local folk medicine, Devonian linguistics and dialect plant names to make the language and details used in the annotations as believable as possible.
Creating the Map of Hope Rock became and exercise in understanding what makes a place; a combination of layers of geography, geology, botany, language, culture and history that have laid themselves down through time.

Image copyright: Helen Cann. Book copyright: Thames and Hudson
Watercolour and ink on paper. 20×26 cms.

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