Photos: Elena Danlei Huang
This quilt visualizes a section of the city of Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal as a collection of patterns. The map was made through collecting satellite images from Google Maps street view of the streets and sidewalks around the iconic Portas da Cidade, or City Gates. This area of the city is known for its mosaic sidewalks, called Portuguese Pavement, which fill each street with their own unique patterns and motifs. Stitched paths indicate the presence of streets, that lack available Google Maps satellite imagery. Each patterned sidewalk has been made by painting with a clay resist on natural cotton and then dying in indigo. While the technique is not Portuguese, the result mimics azulejo tiles (blue & white painted tiles) which are common to Portuguese culture and artistic traditions.
The work explores the shortcomings of the technology we rely on and gaps in knowledge gathered by satellite data. It explores how we understand maps both as visual markers and ways of interpreting data. This time that data is translated into analog, physical form. The quilt is an ode to my own family's background, a memory-keeper of my own wanderings while visiting the area.