How to Understand a City
“Part of my methodology is to experience places fully, spending considerable time investigating, researching and obtaining stories,” Fuller says. “An example could be a new government or mayor taking over—shifts in social history trigger changes in the culture of a city. These types of experiences give me a greater understanding of the place. I remember in particular the global financial crash in 2008. It had a devastating effect on the moral of the city and this can be seen in my drawings.”
British artist Fuller, aka Gareth John Wood, draws intricate maps that narrate the identity of places. Using extensive research, exploration, local knowledge and lived experience, he draws out their complex personalities. His meticulous ink drawings constitute a kaleidoscope of comments on contemporary culture and society, entwined with curiosities, factoids, personal memories, stories and humor. Fuller's latest and most ambitious piece of map art, London Town, was drawn over a period of ten years and has been archived in the British Library and the Museum of London. His craft now takes him around the world, spending years in his chosen locations, with the ambition of completing a major series of works. However, his friends and family are still convinced he's just doodling.