Online research led me to the Worldmapper website where I found the unique two-dimensional shapes created by Benjamin D. Hennig’s Phd. research. These gridded population cartograms reflected the human landscape, but also suggested abstracted insects, animals, and flora. I was intrigued by the possibility of sculpting these shapes and Ben was enthusiastic about a cross-pollinization of the arts and sciences. Images of my sculpted cartograms have been included in several of his lectures including a presentation to Population Special Group at the 2012 meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in New York.
The first phase of this body of work has focused on the countries of the Middle East. Interpreting maps that reflect the location of the people seemed like an appropriate place to begin. Color and texture always play an important role in my sculpture. The gold and silver line work is used to suggest the potential for human flexibility and success. The crawly, cracking glazes represent shifting circumstances and political changes.
The maps presented in these sculptures are equal area cartograms, otherwise known as density-equalizing maps. The cartogram re-sizes each territory according to the variable being mapped. In this case the variable is the human population. The underlying grid ensures the preservation of an accurate geographic reference to the real world. Please view Ben’s website at www.worldpopulationatlas.org for more maps and information.