Exotic Adornments and Old Maps: The Art of Kristjana S Williams

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ksw_map_smallArtist Kristjana S Williams, originally from Iceland but now based in west London, specialises in collages of vividly coloured, exotic creatures. A number of her works have included adorning such animals around the edges of old maps – often artworks in their own right – creating a distinctive “frame” around the map and perhaps harking back to the days when maps were the preserves of ocean-going explorers, discovering weird and wonderful things in round-the-world voyages.

As well as global maps, Kristjana has worked with a number of London-specific old maps, including Lundanar Kort (excerpt on the right) based on Mogg’s 1806 map we featured only very recently, Round London (above), based on a 1791 map by Paterson, Markets Royale, set upon Cary’s 1824 plan of London, and a Transport for London commission which frames a pre-Beck London Underground map (shown below). Lundanar Kort has several editions of its own, with the same basemap but a differing assortment of fantastic adornments surrounding it. The “Gull Sky” edition includes profile sketches of a number of London buildings, old and new.

There’s something very compelling about the mashup of old maps and colourful animals that is hard to pin down!

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Kristjana is represented by Outline Artists and her work is available at Outline Editions. I first came across her work at the “Art Cartography” solo exhibition late last year at The Map House in Knightsbridge, a rather wonderful map/art dealership which deserves a post of its own here sometime.


See more maps featured on Mapping London