Map Lovers is a project started by Cape Town-based artist Natascha Petersmann, which involves blending photographic and illustrated works with overlays of maps or topographical charts, creating unique layered artworks.
As a seasoned traveller, the idea to combine travel photography and maps came to Natascha a few years ago, and she fleshed out the concept while on a round-the-world trip last year. The resulting artworks are incredible - take the World Map as an example. It's a large work, measuring 1.8 m by 1.2 m, which features a traditional-style map of the globe, with the journey and points of interest from their last family holiday highlighted on the perspex overlay.
We visited Natascha's home to photograph her personal collection of Map Lovers works - capturing the multi-layered aspect of the pieces is tricky, but we hope the close-up shots illustrate the effect. It's definitely best experienced in person!
She also applies the overlay concept to more than just maps:
Map Lovers explained in Natascha's own words:
"Have you ever found yourself sucked into a map, dreaming of places you've been, remembering a journey and inspired to travel? Too many times I caught myself wondering how to illustrate a memory in an innovative way.
Thus Map Lovers, "Customised Maps as Art" was born. Maps displayed in a beautiful, funky, designer way, personalised, to tell your story and show your photos. Retaining all the correct geographical information, they give context and perspective to an experience or future dream. They include a collection of neutral signature maps designed to fit into anyone’s world."
"These artworks range from world maps, to routes covered on foot, flown in hot air balloon or sailed across seas. Display your best photos in an unforgettable way. Maybe you rode the Argus or captured the sunset on a beautiful beach. They awaken the discoverer and seem to open up opportunity and a promise of freedom. Map Lovers reflect your adventurous soul and leave you full of excitement."
"The artworks are an interesting synergy between the art and framing. They consist of a picture (photo, painting, map or illustration) and information or an illustration printed onto glass. They are then framed to create a cool dimension with shadows falling from the glass onto the artwork in the background.
We have used LED lighting on some artworks as well as augmented reality to bring them to life."
"Map Lovers clients range from photographers displaying their best work to collages of one’s life. We are currently working on a project for a client that sailed the Red Sea 10 years ago. It will plot the route they took in a 1 year voyage and match photos up to interesting stops they made along the way. Another client is creating a collage of his son’s life overlaid by the world showing when and where he has been, this will be his 18th birthday gift. Our clients are people who love more than just the aesthetics of art but appreciate functionality too."
"Using the top printers and framers has led to a high quality, sophisticated, sassy product. We work closely with Orms to maintain authenticity and great craftsmanship. We print on a range of beautiful papers and play with the versatility of Plexiglas, choosing from an enormous range of framing options to pick one that accentuates the work.
The effects and possibilities are endless and with your story they make for a unique, stylish piece."
Natascha's Map Lovers artworks are printed and framed by the Orms Print Room. For more information or to commission a work, please visit the Map Lovers website, or follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.
Map Lovers will be hosting a small exhibition of the works on 2 November 2013, 38 Rottingdean Road, Camps Bay, 17h00 - 19h30. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.