That Map You Love, That Saved Your Life

DOI: 10.14714/CP90.1492

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That Map You Love, That Saved Your Life

Steven R Holloway, tomake.com | oikos@tomake.com

My maps, prints, and photographs are responses arising from an effort to stop and listen to the place. I make direct contact with, and in one Body, the experience of being awake and embracing the event. I make artist-editioned maps, prints, artist books, and broadsides in small numbered editions using a variety of matrices: relief, stone & plate lithography, intaglio, collagraph, silk screen, and letterpress. I make responses directly using both dry and wet drawing materials. My lithographic stones are over 100 years old and still in use. Printing, involving multiple matrices, hand-mixed inks, and fine papers that include blind embossing, chine-collé, and trial and error, is done using the two luddite presses: a Gordon Oldstyle letterpress and a Griffin lithograph & etching-intaglio press.

I stop and listen
I stop and observe
I return back and stop
again, and again
I count
I measure
I breathe in
and I breathe out
AND I sing like Walt and Kabir and Lorca

I experience the place itSelf
this, this drug of song and dance and colour

I touch and feel and enJOY
and get wet
and get dirty
and get cold and hot and hurt and healed
sun-cloud-water exposed

STOP, OBSERVE, EXPERIENCE
Did I say this?

And when the place speaks
And I hear the Voice

MAKE
to Make a mark
to Respond
a response arising from the place itSelf
I-Thou, the Other
Listening
I can no longer make maps

These are given to me,
Gifts that saved my life

Stopping to Observe & Experience the Other, North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota, 2012.

Stopping to Observe & Experience the Other, North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota, 2012.




After the Indian Wars
the new King placed a grid like a blanket
heavy and suffocating EVERYwhere
a permanence of his pleasure
and power
AND did what he wanted

Gave the land to those in his favor
a medal with his image to those he defeated

And thus began
the great extractions
the steel ribbons
the cutting and fencing and
the endless concrete
the draining & covering of the swamps
the terrible stagnation of the dams

And the poisoning of ki-o-te
I-IT. I-IT. I-IT.
ME ME ME they shouted
MINE. I WANT. MINE.

Mapping the World, Intaglio 25 by 38 in. on Sakamoto Aiko, 2009.

Mapping the World, Intaglio 25 by 38 in. on Sakamoto Aiko, 2009.




Muddy flooding of the Nile
Rising and falling of the Ganges
the great Tigris-Euphrates, rich valley of mudwater moving life-stuff
Missouri-Ohio-Mississippi, Columbia-Kootenay, Amazon Basin of life
Muddy waters rising and falling
Bearing Witness
the dark walls of Chauvet Cave in the valley of the Ardèche
paintings, engravings and drawings bearing witness
hand prints; I too was here bearing witness with you

And the event at BodhGaya on the Phalgu-Ganges
the Earth bearing witness, mud-waters rising up
his right hand touching the earth,
the waters rising and bearing witness
And Mara disappeared.

Map of the Waters Bearing Witness (When Buddha Touched the Earth on the Phalgu–Ganges Rivers at BodhGaya, India), 37 by 25 in. Stone lithograph on Sakamoto, 2010.

Map of the Waters Bearing Witness (When Buddha Touched the Earth on the Phalgu–Ganges Rivers at BodhGaya, India), 37 by 25 in. Stone lithograph on Sakamoto, 2010.




Stopped here
the Place called Three Forks of the Missouri
witness to a coming together
in winter, in spring, in summer
Watersheds polyphonic, water in song & in dance
An assembling and mixing and transporting of
My DNA. Your DNA. The DNA.

As in a flood all jumbled together. Coming Together.
Did we come together as these rivers
without effort
joining without dispute or judgment
How lucky I am
making a mark on a cave wall
Marks that saved my life
Marks
to make things that
Disrupt and Disturb and Awaken me
In spring and in summer and in winter and autumn.

Coming Together I (Three Forks of the Missouri, Montana), 41 by 30 in. Lithograph, Flocking, Blind embossing, Relief, Chine-collé on Kozo mounted on Arches, 2015.

Coming Together I (Three Forks of the Missouri, Montana), 41 by 30 in. Lithograph, Flocking, Blind embossing, Relief, Chine-collé on Kozo mounted on Arches, 2015.




How to cross east to the buffalo people
How to cross west to the salmon people
This is all you need to know
the way across. Leave all the rest to the crossing itself.

To cross the Shining Mountains, Crown of the Continent . . .
Crowsnest, Tent Mountain, Ptolemy, North Kootenay, Middle Kootenay, Sage and Kishinenai,
Akamina, Boulder, Brown, Jefferson and Kootenai
There is Fifty Mountain, Stoney Indian, Gable at Chief Mountain on the Front,
and Ahern, Red Gap, the Tunnel called Ptarmigan and Swiftcurrent
And Logan, Piegan and Siyeh, Hidden Lake, Comeau, Lincoln, Gunsight,
Red Eagle, Cut Bank, Surprise, Triple Divide by the Peak, Pitamakan
Then Dawson, Two Medicine, deSanto, Firebrand, Marais,
Muskrat, Badger, Gateway, Teton

Crossings without end. Mountains and Rivers without end.
The WAY across.

The Way Across (Northern Rocky Mountains roadless areas, passes & continental divides, British Columbia, Alberta & Montana), 42 by 31 in. Lithograph, Flocking, Relief & Chine-collé on Kozo mounted on German Etching, 2017.

The Way Across (Northern Rocky Mountains roadless areas, passes & continental divides, British Columbia, Alberta & Montana), 42 by 31 in. Lithograph, Flocking, Relief & Chine-collé on Kozo mounted on German Etching, 2017.




ALL DAY
PERMANENT
RED

All Day Permanent Red: The First Battle Scenes of Homer’s Iliad, rewritten by Christopher Logue, 2003.

Something Happened Here (Little Bighorn Battlefield & River, south central Montana), 30 by 22 in. Stone lithograph on Somerset Velvet, 2009.

Something Happened Here (Little Bighorn Battlefield & River, south central Montana), 30 by 22 in. Stone lithograph on Somerset Velvet, 2009.




At night the river is an inky blackness, the bottom of which I cannot locate, more than a shadow, an eclipse of sorts, a doorway that invites me in. I stand back and look out now, and the song of the night is shimmering awake. Above, on the surface, gold reminds me of something. I cannot distinguish between the night and the shimmering gold. At this moment the gold has no price and cannot be sold.

The River Awakens at Night (Missouri River at the junction of the Arrow, Montana), 22 by 30 in. Stone lithograph on Somerset Velvet Black, 2004.

The River Awakens at Night (Missouri River at the junction of the Arrow, Montana), 22 by 30 in. Stone lithograph on Somerset Velvet Black, 2004.




And the heron, in its constant dance,

its thinking, along the Vermilion River links
as the poem, the map—poem,
everything together,
everything interwoven,
interconnected, changing, song and dance.

Every morning, in the wild rice shallows
I look for the heron and wonder what it has dreamed.

In what sense can a map,
the domesticated map,
ever know the dreams of the heron in flight,
in stillness.

The river is the place where your voice came into song.

Flight Path of the Heron (Vermilion River & tributaries, Vermilion Lake to Crane Lake, Minnesota),11 by 8 in. hand bound. Artist Book & Lithograph, 2007.

Flight Path of the Heron (Vermilion River & tributaries, Vermilion Lake to Crane Lake, Minnesota), 11 by 8 in. hand bound. Artist Book & Lithograph, 2007.


Weightless
The tide, its waters in and out from the sea
The currents, swirling in the bay
The wind, the sun, the waves, the spray
I am swimming within all these now
and between the sky and the salty water.

The pilot boat is nowhere
then suddenly everywhere and nowhere to be seen
rising and falling in the waves
we are in the water, we are so very small
swimming the Golden Gate under power of arms, lungs, legs
being lifted by this, an immense Body
being lowered now, into this Body.

Stroke, Two, Three . . . breathe right, sight for the landing
Stroke, Two, Three . . . breathe left, sight for the pilot
suddenly beside me, their eyes looking high above
I press against the side of the boat
& push myself away, turn and look

falls the shadow.
I am swimming in the space between light & shadow
I am swimming in the moving waters; ahwō
All the while I am being carried
everything unstoppable
everything dancing
everything moving, moving out to sea.

Falls the Shadow (The Golden Gate & the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge, California), 25 by 38 in. Stone lithograph on Sakamoto, 2008.

Falls the Shadow (The Golden Gate & the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge, California), 25 by 38 in. Stone lithograph on Sakamoto, 2008.




Visual Fields focuses on the appreciation of cartographic aesthetics and design, featuring examples of inspirational, beautiful, and intriguing work. Suggestions of works that will help enhance the appreciation and understanding of the cartographic arts are welcomed, and should be directed to Section Editor Matt Dooley: mapdooley@gmail.com.

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