Stephen Walter’s Map of Liverpool 2008-9

c. Stephen Walter
c. Stephen Walter


The Map leads on from Stephen Walter’s two-year London project completed in 2008, which mapped London as a whole and each of its boroughs. Informed by insights, knowledge of his native city and its people, combined with further research; the resulting maps touch on the capital’s vastness and tap into its undercurrents.

The map is on display in the Bluecoat hub. For more info email Liz Lacey

The artist’s initial plan was to create something similar for Liverpool, a city with which he was unfamiliar. Originally, he was to spend five days here, following a trail of contacts, and produce a whistle stop ‘warts and all’ tour of the city. The map creation would rely upon the knowledge and views of others, juxtaposed with research of cultural and historical books and on the Internet. However, whilst journeying through the City the artist fell in love with a woman from Liverpool. This and a growing number of personal relationships, and “the pride and energy in which Liverpudlians talk and feel about their city” which Walter experienced; resulted in further visits and a map of Liverpool far larger and more detailed than was initially planned.

The map is geographically accurate and highlights many of Liverpool’s main roads, railway lines, built up areas, monuments and green spaces, with an enlarged section of the city centre added in the bottom left corner. It records several memorable viewpoints from different parts of the city. “I began to translate Liverpool’s character to paper, its snippets of quirks, idiosyncrasies, its stereotypes, places of interest and etymology of place names into a celebration of the masonry and hearts of Liverpool”.

Stephen Walter’s drawn maps ‘Stir the pot of alchemy’ to produce works that illustrate his study into the stories, legends, histories and stereotypes of a city and are ultimately a celebration of place.

Under the guise of traditional techniques, his work reveals a myriad of words and symbols. The fantastical additions, references to history, trivia, personal experiences and local knowledge merge older notions of Romanticism with a fascination in the intricacies and the contradictions of our world.

Stephen Walter London Map entitled ‘The Island’ will be shown at the British Library as part of the ‘Mighty Maps’ exhibition, 2010.

c. Stephen Walter
c. Stephen Walter