At the Intersection of Anatomy and Geography

Shannon Rankin Maps Hearts Selflesh

These are a few pieces from the ‘Map Works’ series by artist Shannon Rankin.

Rankin believes that “Maps depicting mountain ranges, roads, lakes and rivers resemble internal biological features, reproductive anatomy, skeletal structures and networks of the human body.” By isolating roads and highways, and placing maps in the human form, you can instantly see the connection she is trying to achieve.

Symbols of cities become acupuncture points, and meridian lines, like rivers, represent an internal system of communication and transport. Geometric seed patterns made of globe-like pieces of map reference small worlds, suggesting the potential for a broader landscape. The ephemeral nature of maps speaks to the fragility and transitory state of our lives and surroundings.

Rankin’s ‘Map Works’ are simple and well designed with the intriguing quality of maps. Beautiful work.

Shannon Rankin Selflesh head

Shannon Rankin Selflesh heads


Shannon Rankin is an interdisciplinary artist, living and working in the mountains of Maine. See the rest of ‘Map Works’ on her Flickr site and read her process on her blog, Selflesh. You can also buy prints of her work at Selflesh.etsy.



4 thoughts on “At the Intersection of Anatomy and Geography”

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  3. Whoa, thanks for sharing this art-natomy! Adds a whole new level to the old cardiovascular analogy of arteries being highways and arterioles being the side streets.

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