Cartography of the Self

 

Howardena Pindell, is a new name in my artist trove. The first Pindell piece I saw was Autobiography: Japan (Shisen-dō, Kyoto) at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. I felt drawn to it. At first glance, it is unassuming...almost simple. It reminded me of the natural stones my road-making father loves, of earth and being grounded. A NYC-based artist and educator, Pindell began creating her Autobiography series, of which Shisen-dō is one, after a car accident in 1979 that left her with partial memory loss. 

Shisen-dō is a map to memory. It is a map to herself.

What if we were to create a cartography of ourselves? To weave our way in and out of our thoughts, learnings, inspirations, memories, and dreams? To leave a piece of ourselves in the form of a map so we can find our way. To remember. A map to guide those we love to a new understanding of ourselves and our paths in life. 

 
Howardena Pindell: Autobiography: Japan (Shisen-dō, Kyoto), 1982, Mixed media on canvas 70 1/2 x 70 1/2 inches

Howardena Pindell: Autobiography: Japan (Shisen-dō, Kyoto), 1982, Mixed media on canvas
70 1/2 x 70 1/2 inches

Titania Veda