Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Peak District, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of the Peak District. 47 x 35in (120 x 90cm)

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Colorado Geological, 2013. Pencil on a geological map of Colorado, the first of a series of works exclusive to the Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Bristol Envelope, 2013. A small portrait, produced in ink on an original street map of Bristol (UK) – this was later cut and folded to form an envelope, combining the current map works produced by Fairburn and a previous project—postal art.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Yr Ods EP Cover, 2013. Pencil on contoured maps showing parts of Wales, produced for Welsh Band Yr Ods.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Shrewsbury, 2013. Progress shot, ink on a street map of Shrewsbury.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Innsbruck, 2013. Ink on a contoured map of Innsbruck/surrounding area, 20 x 20in (52 x 52cm) approx. Lines of elevation have been followed with a pen, the width of each line has been altered accordingly to build the different tones.

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Pontypridd, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of Pontypridd, South Wales (UK).

Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn portraits maps drawing
Solihull, 2013. Progress shot of a past experiment in inks.

Using a wide variety of canvases including railroad blueprints, star charts, geological and street maps, Welsh artist Ed Fairburn (previously here and here) uses additive and subtractive techniques to create portraits that seem pefectly integrated with the topography of streets, mountains and rivers. It’s been almost a year since we last checked in with Fairburn whose process and approach to creating these stunning portraits continues to evolve. One of his most striking methods is to carefully follow map contours with a pen creating rows of lines that vary by width to create individual forms and shadows. The final portraits are so entwined with the map, it becomes hard to imagine one existing without the other.

You can see Fairburn’s work for yourself at Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado and he also has prints available here.

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