Anthropocene: Relating to or denoting the current geological age, viewed as a period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. [Oxford Dictionary, 2012]
The new wildernesses on our planet, waiting to be explored, are information, knowledge, history and time. These are altering our relationship with the physical world and the old traditional landmarks.[Stephen Walter]
TAG Fine Arts is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Stephen Walter’s work, opening in London, July 2013. Hosted at the Londonewcastle Project Space in Shoreditch, the exhibition will showcase Walter’s drawings, photographs and prints from the last four years including his iconic London maps ‘The Island’ and ‘London Subterranea’. It will also mark the launch of his latest work, ‘Nova Utopia’ – a hand-drawn map which revisits Thomas More’s famous island state of Utopia, a century after a capitalist revolution has transformed its very essence.
Stephen Walter is best known for his intricate hand-drawn maps, including ‘The Island’ and the associated ‘London Series’ (2008), and ‘London Subterranea’ (2012). But cartography is just one aspect of the artist’s practice, which is informed by his knowledge of Romantic landscape traditions, the concept of utopia (and dystopia), and contemporary culture’s obsession with symbols and logos. Walter packs his work with visual and textual information, building up layers of communication on one plane. By doing so he demonstrates the complexity of his subjects, as well as the subjectivity of his response. Walter’s work questions the ability of the artist, working with traditional landscape, cartography and drawing techniques, to communicate a world which is saturated with information, constantly expanding, changing and reorganising itself.
My maps are a critique and a celebration of place, and the stories, histories and perceptions that inhabit them: I act as an editor or a filter through which the information is laid down. [Stephen Walter]