With simple household materials and the guidance of topographic and bathymetric maps, one artist’s sculptures come to life.
A razor blade, film, and paper are the tools Olga Skorokhod uses to create her works of art. By layering different colored paper at different heights she creates a stunning textured look similar to topographical maps.
Three years ago, Skorokhod desired to implement the textures and shapes she found beautiful in the outdoors. She took a razor blade to white printer paper and was amazed by the light and shadow from the materials. Today, the results of that experiment are beautiful maps, the likes of which include California, Australia, and inland streams and lakes.
To accomplish this, she studies bathymetric (like topography for the sea) and topographical maps.
First, she looks at the corresponding ocean floor and topographical map of the area she wants to carve out. The hidden aquatic features are often not found in standard maps, but are brought to life with bathymetric maps.
While she originally used printer paper, now she uses 150-lb. airbrush white paper with foam board between the layers. She uses a surgical knife blade to cut the paper. Depending on the angle of her cuts, the transitions between light and shadow appear differently.
All of these techniques enhance the illusion of reality, despite using paper and other simple materials.
Not A Real Map
Due to the nature of carving by hand, mistakes in the elevation of mountains and lakes can occur. Not surprisingly, she advises travelers use real maps instead of her artwork for navigation, as they may get lost. Instead, she sees her work as resembling place, and something to hold good memories from wherever the journey leads.
Find and purchase the rest of Skorokhod’s collection here.