Silk Escape Maps: The Portsmouth Corset

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The development of the silk escape maps grew from our work on the unlikely configurations found in the Portsmouth Corset Dialogue. These were the play of feminine and masculine forms with the corset and city. Within the work we were enjoying scale play, from glove to city structures, forts and fields to the body and hand. All of which related to uncovering the hidden history of Portsmouth corsetry and the structures of the city.

Organised in 3 sections plot, scene and character.
Plot (story) is the stories captures and explored within the drawing.
Scene (maps) is the curatorship of the maps into crafted silk maps.
Character(object) is the photography of these maps in a hidden space.

The hidden nature of the corset and the idea of secrets and being hoodwinked became a key catalyst which led to the idea of taboo and uncross-able lines; of border and territories within maps. Silk escape maps and evasion maps were historically folded and sewen inro clothing or hidden in a boot. Often made from parachute silk they could easily be hidden from sight and silent and unfolded.

These silk maps reconfigure the corset mapping and allow them to be seen in a different ways. Hence the collection of corset & city maps are seen as the story (PLOT), the design of the silk map as the (SCENE) and the map as object (CHARACTER), which when see in a historical hidden setting give a different reading to both map and location.

The book is one of a series of booklets that summarise our drawing and making practice. Allowing us to continue our research into narrative mapping.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages52
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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