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Strange Maps

241 – Every Englishman Is An Island…


… But some are more insular than others. Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, according to this disputed article on Wikipedia “best known for his ceramics and his cross-dressing”, is the artist behind this obsessively detailed cartographic self-portrait.

His Map of An Englishman (2004) is a mock-Tudor etch of an imaginary island, not coincidentally resembling a brain, surrounded by Psychopath, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Delirium and other unpleasantness at sea; divided into counties with alluring names such as Tender, Bitch, Romance, Cliché and Guru – Normal and Easy are pretty small areas, and Fear is a large, scary forest in the east.

Hills, houses and castles, but mainly churches, dot the countryside, each bearing the name of character traits (or flaws) or other words somehow connectible the artist, expressing prejudices, fears, desires, vanities and other attributes of the artist, ranging from Two-Car-Family and Stuck over Cuddly and Intersubjectivity to Dream-Date and I’m-Out-Of-Control.Some elements seem to be thematically grouped together, hence the region labelled Posh is thick with place-names like Chattering, Broadsheet, Yoga, Chardonnay, School Run and Bulemic.

The map was sent in by Paul Razell, who “saw Grayson Perry’s Map of an Englishman at the British Museum in November 2007, and have been meaning to bring this to your attention.” Many thanks! The original location of this image is here, some more info on the map here at Artificial Gallery.


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