I love maps. There's something about the combination of line, image and sparse text that appeals endlessly to my imagination in conjuring landscape and places. As part of my walking and writing workshops, I've often asked participants to sketch a 'map' of the walk we've just undertaken.I keep instructions to a minimum so that each person can approach it in their own style. Mine tends to be a mixture of image and word generated by landscape features or by incidents that happened in specific places, my own names for places, and a sense of the shape of the walk. But other people see the walk as a continuous straight line, or ripples of words expressing sensation experienced and observation almost as if they are contours. Rarely have people come up with a very literal or schematic expression of the place.
Hamish Ashcroft, a friend's son aged six, has made this extraordinary map of Aberfeldy, transferring his observations from one dimension to another. It amazes me that a six year old can make this conceptual leap. It is a highly accurate representation including key landmarks, the river Tay, the curve of streets and crescents in relation to each other, and is also a very beautiful object.
It can be seen on proud display in the Aberfeldy Watermill. I'm sure any cartography commissions can reach him c/o their address!