all maps by Lady Lux

Here Be the Kitchen

Lux drew this map with her eight-year-old daughter as a way to occupy time on a rainy afternoon. She creates a fanciful world based on her home's thoroughly modern kitchen in a converted Victorian era garment factory. The kitchen appliances become potentially treacherous points of interest. The refrigerator houses the icy lair of Evil Troutus, the stove transforms into an island of fire, and her precariously overstuffed bookshelf morphs into the Cliffs of Madness. It seems the kitchen's own island, the High Plateau, offers a safe haven amidst the chaos.

Lux includes a reference to the phrase "Here Be Dragons" near the plateau. This expression, often used today as a way to indicate uncharted territory, is found once in the history of cartography. The Lenox Globe, one of the earliest terrestrial globes created in the 14th century, includes in Latin "hic sunt dracones" on the coast of Asia. Indeed this reference is more cultural than cartographic. Today the phrase appears to have a strong tie to geek culture showing up in places such as Firefox 3, the html code for Vimeo, and the television show Lost. The geek-friendly cartography project OpenStreetMap, a free collaborative map of the world, uses the phrase to reference unmapped areas. It seems our 21st century meme to describe the unknown is indeed "here be dragons."

For more information see Erin C. Blake's Where Be "Here Be Dragons?" and Wikipedia's list of cultural references.

2010-10-30 : Chester, United Kingdom : Lady Lux

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