Le Massif de La Vedette: carte dressée à 1:40,000
Hybrid hand and digital drawing, printed on paper (2021)
The map is a reconstruction of the landscape panorama installed in the Grande Salle of La Vedette, French architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s home in Lausanne, Switzerland from 1874 to 1879. The panorama (which has since been lost and the house demolished) presented an idealised landscape, produced through the architect’s imagination, geological knowledge, and painterly technique. The reconstruction follows the architect’s method — relying on close observation and recording to remain true to the original painting — while also revealing the characters involved and the ideas that underpinned his Alpine study, in particular, the troubling entanglement of notions of race and nation with the mountain landscape and its archetypal architecture.
Routes weave together these points with the topography, while the map’s folds fold together the places, characters, and ideas, speaking to the folds in the panorama and the long, violent, and imperceptibly slow process of geotectonic folding.
Cartographies of the Imagination is a month-long experimental drawing festival held in the RIBA award-winning OmVed Gardens and Glasshouse in Highgate.