Internal Maps


This image, the wheel of emotions, has been present since the beginning.  Originally I saw it as a map, a tool to guide the main character through the forest of her emotions.  Behind each emotion lies its opposite—pictured here on the wheel are grief and its opposite, ecstasy.  Ecstasy clarifies into joy and joy internalized transforms into serenity. 

The colors on the wheel are significant, too.  The shades of pink, for example, intensify and heat up as the emotion progresses from boredom to loathing.  Do we come to loathe that which bores us?

I was speaking to a friend who works in film about this wheel and he recognized it immediately, and said it is useful for lighting effects: red light/rage, of course, but terror and admiration are just slightly different shades of green…

What if the character’s internal map, inspired by the Wheel of Emotions were externalized?  Is it true that certain locations stand out in higher relief than others? 

Mappa Mundi, they’re called.  “On a mappa mundi, a place derived its cartographic status from the event that occurred there; it is an event-place.”  “Map symbols on a mappa mundi were scaled according to their cultural and historical importance.  The Tower of Babel looks enormous, and so do the cities of Jerusalem and Rome.”  Certain maps reflected personal experience and memory, marking regions significant to an individual’s experience or identity in bright colors, bolded lines and high relief, so that the space “stands out” as large and significant. [Off the Map, by Alastair Bonnett reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, July 24, 2014]  We have internal maps, which may match external landscapes.  What are the high-resolution locations for the character I’m creating? And while we’re at it, what are the still-lives she assembles, and what do these reveal about her?  How can an installation become the fabric of a stage set?
“Place is the fabric of our lives; memory and identity are stitched through it.  Without having somewhere of one’s own, a place that is home, freedom is an empty word.” –Alastair Bonnett, Off The Map.

You may also like