I was drawn to the calligraphy of this 19th Century Japanese Map. The way that the map is aligned and measured out into neat squared graph lines made me want to work on it. Prior to 1853, Japan was in a self-imposed lockdown for 300 years - no one was allowed to enter or leave. The parallels to Japan's lockdown in the 19th century and our current global crisis is an interesting one. The original map was created specifically to celebrate the end of their lockdown. My reworking of this map work pays homage to the current global upheaval of displacement and refuge.


Twenty years ago I dipped into a sufi book about how 'Primordial Earth' is a place of refuge for all of mankind and its inhabitants. This stayed with me, the concept of global Earth being a sanctuary and place of refuge. Now when I look around me there is homelessness on my doorstep, and immense global suffering around the world. A sanctuary is a necessity that humans need to flourish and feel protected. Each mark I have added to this piece is a reflection, a contemplation, a reaching out in the form of a prayer for the destitute, the abandoned, the oppressed, the vulnerable.


If you would like further clarification on to how read my maps please refer to my Gallery page for a breakdown or KEY.

Primordial Sanctuary: Would You Rescue Me?

  • 55cm x 39cm x 2.8cm