One could argue that any and every map is subjective to a degree. They are all products of our individual experience and approach though, naturally, maps made as part of a national mapping series for instance will contain less of the individual. At the other end of the spectrum there are the purely subjective; those maps that exist in our mind and which only rarely ever get committed to some tangible form.
Becky Cooper’s work is designed to capture the emotion of Manhattan as seen through a variety of lenses. Her intent is to capture subjective portraits, each of which tells a part of the story of the bigger place. It’s a collaborative portrait of the city completed by distributing outlines of Manhattan and asking people to make a map. The result is a fascinating, colourful and hugely varied collection of beautiful maps. Some approached it topographically, some thematically and some used it as a canvas to note memories and personal experiences.
The 75 maps in the collection are published as a book and are truly fantastic as give us an insight into people’s personal worlds. The book very cutely includes a blank map at the back which invites readers to create their own map.
more examples of the work can be seen on Cooper’s tumblr here.