My atlas is a bit out of date. For instance, should one wish to look at a map of Kyrgyzstan*, one finds that Kyrgyzstan isn’t there — just the Kyrgyz SSR. And apparently it isn’t necessary to mark the boundaries of SSRs very clearly, since — presumably — they are all part of the happy Soviet family. I’ve been meaning to buy a new atlas for some time, but it is difficult to know when exactly to make the purchase since there will always be another revolution or an independence referendum along in a minute.
Although the out-datedness of my atlas means that I need to get most of my political geography information online, I still like the book itself. Mine is only a modest atlas, but it has lots of nice Stuff at the beginning: stuff about geology, stuff about the oceans and so on. And this is the second reason why I took it down from the bookshelf this weekend. I’ve been thinking about lava and I wanted to look at some pictures. (By the way, if you google “lava flow” then you get some amazing images.)
I wanted to look at lava because I am thinking about weaving some. This forthcoming exhibition is seeking
artworks that consider the ‘elements’ within the environment and landscape from a geological perspective
where ‘elements’ can be defined in several different ways. Since I live on a plug of volcanic rock, and look out across the river at an ancient lava flow, my thoughts turned to the elements of earth and fire and the volcanic activity which landscaped this part of Scotland. It’s deadly and dangerous, but it is also incredibly beautiful and helps to keep the earth alive.
So I’m thinking of weaving something like this,
possibly with some stainless steel in the weft to give it shape. And I am thinking that the black should be wool so I can shrink it up a bit. Sampling is called for. It may well turn out a complete disaster, but I am rather enjoying the uncertainty.
*If you want to know why I was looking up Kyrgyzstan, then you’ll have to buy a copy of the autumn Journal in August.