make a mixed media map

Mixed Media Memory Map

Mixed Media Memory Map

Mixed Media Memory Map

Mixed Media Memory Map

Mixed Media Memory Map
Mixed Media Memory Map

Exploring Memories Though a Mixed Media Map

Most of us have photos and objects that remind us of our past and how we feel about key points in our lives. Mixed media or collage is a fun way to combine those things into a meaningful, personal artwork.

Mixed media map with labels showing the main materials - a pocket from a dress, pieces of map, fishing line, an original photo, old postcards and tissue paper

Our artwork is called ‘Lost lands – happy memories’. It’s inspired by childhood holidays exploring coasts, cities and countries, and includes layers of different materials such as photo from 1971 and the actual child’s dress in the picture.

We wanted the artwork to reflect the way memories fracture and fade in and out of focus. It was also inspired by old paper maps the family used on their travels, and the sense of a small child being like a wee island in a vast unknown world.

This is how we made our map.....

  1. The pocket was cut from the dress and layers of tissue paper, textured paper and parts of an old map were stitched into place to make a collage. Some of the stitched lines followed roads on the map. We used a combination of machine and hand stitching
  2. The box frame was painted, and small holes drilled through the edges
  3. Old postcards were stuck to the inside of the box frame, then a layer of tissue paper and the collaged pocket was laid on top
  4. We melted a beeswax candle in an old pan and poured it over the layers. This made the tissue paper turn transparent so some of the postcard writing could be seen, and it added an interesting aged finish. It also acted as a glue to hold the pieces together
  5. Blue fishing line was threaded through the frame to mimic the grid found on most maps
  6. Lastly, the original photo was placed in the bottom right corner

If you want to make your own memory artwork be sure to give yourself time to explore a variety of materials and ways to join them together before making the final thing. Look around your home for things you could use – paper, plastic bags, clothes, cardboard, staples, thread, glue, nails, pegs and paint all have lots of potential!

Finished mixed media map

What next?

Aberdeenshire Libraries has some great art books to inspire you:

  •  Collage unleashed by Traci Bautista
  • Textile landscape: painting with cloth in mixed media by Cas Holmes
  • Landscapes by Kathleen Matthews
  • The encyclopaedia of printmaking techniques by Judy Martin

We’d love to see your artwork. Send us an email and show us what you have made:

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