3 AUB students have taken part in a collaborative student project run by the National Arts Learning Network entitled ‘Mapping Territory’

 Jay Alam and Maceo Stennett-Hughes from BA (Hons) Digital Media Production and Charna Cole from BA (Hons) Fashion produced work based on journeys and mapping as part of the project which involved students from nine institutions.

Watch Jay and Maceo’s work ‘Broken Country’:

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Charna created a dress in which the seams of the top row are the roads of Portsmouth, and the garment can be stripped to the waist to represent the destruction time can cause.

The Mapping Territory exhibition is the first collaborative student project run by the National Arts Learning Network (NALN), since it became incorporated into ukadia in 2009. First year undergraduates who progressed to HE through NALN member access initiatives were invited to contribute to demonstrate the diverse breadth of creative practices supported by these programmes. The exhibiting students, now in their second year, have produced new work for this cross-disciplinary exhibition.

These emerging artists have met and collaborated over several months to create an eclectic show that brings together disciplines and geographies. We began the process with a reflection on what the map can offer us. Maps show us the connectedness of things, the networks that join us. They are the world spread out before us, unfolded across a desk, illuminated on our monitors – we can trace them with our fingers or float across them on our screens. They show us the roads we might travel or where we have been. These visual representations of an area, a political or geographical region, reveal the relationships between things. Maps, however, reveal other things: the geographical features that separate us (the mountain ranges, the seas), and the artificial markers of political territories. The borders we may or may not cross.

Scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski said ‘the map is not the territory’ – it is an abstraction not the thing itself. It is easy to confuse models of reality with reality itself. But something has changed – we now inscribe the map as we move about with our mobile phones, generating electronic data as we purchase goods, and travel the transport system – the map has become the territory. We are inscribing our personal traces onto the territory. We are collectively mapping our lives.

The exhibition ran from Tuesday 25 February to Saturday 1st March 2014 at Ravensbourne, Penrose Way, Greenwich Peninsular, SE10 0EW