Mapping London at the 10×10 Charity Auction

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Mapping London editors James and Ollie were invited earlier this year to create a drawing for the 10×10 charity auction taking place later this week in London. The auction is organised by Article 25, an architectural charity (we took part last year too) and each invited artist is assigned a grid square somewhere in central London, to act as a focal point for producing an artwork.

This year, our assigned square was in Bermondsey, just out from London Bridge Station and including Bermondsey Street and Tooley Street. It’s an area teeming with history, and one that has evolved rapidly recently. With that in mind, we wanted to focus on revealing the past in an unusual way, so we started with an old Ordnance Survey map, a scan of which was kindly loaned to us by the London School of Economics. We took the scan and reworked the colours and fonts, to give it a more contemporary look while still retaining the historic structure. The work is digitally printed onto a 60x60cm art canvas, then mounted on a simple wooden frame. The texture of the canvas blends nicely with the original building footprints that we have retained, and contrasts well with our modern colours. It is unique, an edition of 1!

For the caption, we wrote:

This artwork reinterprets an 1895 Ordnance Survey map of Borough/Bermondsey in a modern way, recolouring and highlighting key features to present a new view of a historic and culturally rich neighbourhood. When studying the original map, we were struck by the quantity and variety of industry present in the area 119 years ago. Each factory has been carefully relabelled in a modern font while retaining the old spelling. From leather tanning to chocolate making, by way of a brewery, the artwork invites the viewer to look again at a familiar part of London.

We are in illustrious company again this year, with submissions from famous names such as Anthony Gormley and Norman Ackroyd. But hopefully our own little piece will make a small contribution to the fundraising effort too. You can see the details of our artwork, and an online bidding page, on the 10×10 website.

The online auction ends at midnight tonight and the live auction is on Thursday at the Shard which is at the centre of this year’s 10×10 grid. Place your bids!

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