Edinburgh students' creative response to Polar expedition maps

General map showing the explorations and surveys of the Shackleton expedition, 1907-9

General map showing the explorations and surveys of the Shackleton expedition, 1907-9

There's an interesting exhibition of illustrated maps in the foyer of the National Library of Scotland that runs from 9th - 19th February. They've been created by first year Illustration students at the nearby Edinburgh College of Art in response to a visit to the Polar map collection at the National Library, where they saw material related to Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica vis the South Pole.

Terri Po, detail from Map of Mistakes, Mismanagement and Misfortune, 2015

Terri Po, detail from Map of Mistakes, Mismanagement and Misfortune, 2015

They were asked to respond by creating an illustrated map of the journey he made. Students drew as many ideas as they could from the maps in the library's collection, looking at the colour, lettering, borders, and the textures used to mark the cold terrain. They were also invited to create an artefact that illustrated an element of the narrative. The resulting work included poignant accounts of the harsh experience, a 'scratch and sniff' scented map and a board game design.

You can find out more about the project in this short video.

How would you respond to such a brief? If you'd like to make work inspired by maps, we have examples in our collection of London Underground posters.