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Ed Fairburn

Born: Southampton
Lives and works: Dorset
Education: Cardiff School of Art & Design
Exhibitions: IN:SIGHT (2018), Affordable Art Fair (2016)
“I let the map do what it wants to do, teasing out the human form. The female form is beautiful just as it is.”

From the sweeping floodplain of Arkansas Valley to the craters of the moon, the variation of the landscape gifts Ed with an endless source of inspiration.

Inspiration

In an age of smartphones, the art of reading a map is slowly being forgotten, but the Dorset-based artist reimagines maps, blueprints and star charts as canvases for his detailed portraits.

Breathing life into the organic patterns, Ed transforms the topography into recognisable human features using ink, watercolours and pencil. A mountain range becomes the curvature of a neck and winding streets become fine lines. The humanisation of this everyday item connects viewers to the location. Paradoxically, the portrait loses detail when viewed up-close.

Ed says: “The idea of harmonising a portrait with a map suggests that we are a product of the landscape. I let the map do what it wants to do, teasing out the human form. The female form is beautiful just as it is.”

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