Projects > Paintings on the Map

This project is a continuation of my exploration into architectural spaces as containers for memories. I began by completing a series of paintings based on eleven residences significant to my personal narrative. Combing through photographic sources, I attempted to capture what I felt was the most memorable aspect of the space when I occupied the residence. Each painting is 4 x 6 inches or the size of a postcard.

To correspond with the paintings, I created a Google map titled Paintings on the Map that marks each of the eleven residences. Along with specific address information, the dates and details of my occupation in that space are provided. Memories for each location range from brief to specific depending on the strength of the recollection.

The back of each painting looks and serves as the back of a traditional postcard does. It includes the destination address, a brief message, and postage. The message contains both a unique link and QR code that connects to that specific painting’s destination address on the Google map. Recipients of the painting are invited to visit the link or scan the QR code to be directed to their residence’s location on the virtual map. It is there that they will unlock my memories of their space and a description of the project. Recipients are also invited to leave their own comments on the Google map.

I have several goals for Paintings on the Map. My first goal is to expose the current inhabitant of each space to a portion of the genealogy of their residence. I hope to connect and be united with strangers through my memories contained in their current residences. I am also interested in what the responses will be from the recipients of an original (and free) work of art through the postal service. My hope is that the paintings will be warmly received and ultimately displayed at their destinations. I have asked that recipients share with me a photograph of the painting in the space if they choose to keep it. Besides my (illegible) signature on the back of each painting, my identity as the artist is anonymous unless the link or code is followed to the Google map where my identity is revealed.

Due to rapidly evolving technology, the way in which we communicate and share information has become increasingly depersonalized. The days of sending handwritten letters and hardcopy mail appears to be disappearing. That decline is even more evident with the closures of post offices around our country. I hope that the recipients of each painting will appreciate the time and thought that went in to their work of art and, in some way, appreciate the postal service for helping to connect strangers through this project.

About Paintings on the Map