Susan Armington

Susan Armington,Geography of Home Susan Armington, Geography of Home Detail
Susan Armington,Geography of Home
Susan Armington, Jerusalem Stone Susan Armington, Jerusalem Stone Night

Artist Statement

Susan's PDF Mentor Statement
Susan's PDF Resume

Some years ago, inspired by the Maps and Art exhibit at the Weisman Museum, I began to experiment with ways of using maps and geography in my art. I became especially interested in crafting personal geographies, and how playing with conventions of mapping and geography can give new ways of looking at and thinking about the familiar. Since then, I have added the dimension of language to my work, to reflect the all-pervasive power that words have in shaping the images we have of places and people in our lives.

"Geography of Home" is a giant map of the Twin Cities made out of the words and languages of the people who live there. The map is constructed of stories in Somali, English, Russian, Hmong, Tibetan, Cambodian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, and 20 other languages about what it's like to live in the Twin Cities. These stories are written by city residents about their experiences in the Twin Cities and are collaged and painted into the boundaries of map on a 6 ft. x 9 ft. three-part canvas. Using locations of major roads, lakes, and the river, viewers can find their homes too.

My background in linguistics and especially semiotics and semantics - the construction of meanings - has influenced much of my other work as well. My "Mythic Geography" series, including "Jerusalem Stone- Night," "Red Sea, II", and "In the Shadow of the Tigris & Euphrates," depicts contemporary lands of the Middle East constructed out of the words and languages of the people and cultures that have existed and coexisted there over the millennia.

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