World Underground Maps and Schematics by Chris Gray

Antipocentric Featured at Australian National University

Apologies here, as I’m about to blow my own trumpet. I think I have good cause though. Read on to see if you agree…

Towards the end of 2014 I received an email from the Postgraduate & Research Students’ Association at the Australian National University (PARSA ANU). It stated that they were moving to a new office space and that they therefore needed a new design for for the meeting room. One of their team had spotted my artwork, and wondered if they could commission my Eurocentric world-map as a potential image for the glass partitions of the room. As they are based in Australia, I wondered if they might not prefer to use Antipocentric instead. As soon as they’d seen this version, Antipocentric it was!

Antipocentric by Chris Gray

Antipocentric by Chris Gray

They specifically liked the fact that “the image embodies global connections, is fresh, creative and interesting“. They were also pleased that “it also works well for a meeting room as it reminds users of the planning aspect of tasks“.

The image was sent across to the printers, Screenmakers of Canberra, where it was converted to translucent film and thereafter applied to the glass.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 4

Student Assistance Officer, Wayne Joseph told me that “everyone loves it! Quite literally…general visitors and guests at our grand opening all took time to contemplate it“.

He went on to mention that many remarked that “it’s such a cool concept, and others were especially pleased that it’s Antipocentric. It plays well into an emerging transportation theme because of the street-sign light fixtures, and also matches a piece of artwork that we acquired. Moreover, it reflects the transient and global nature of ANU postgraduate students“.

The room space looks fantastic; I wish I had a studio as spacious and light as that. Perhaps I should move to Australia, although I’d most likely need to drug my wife in order to do so!

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 5

The only issue I can see with this piece of work on full display in a meeting room might be that it is bound to take the attention away from the business at hand, as people tend to spend quite a lot of time simply plotting the points on the lines. Wayne got around this when he told me “as for being positioned in a meeting room, well, at least our representatives will be guided in their daydreaming during meetings & will hopefully find their way back to the tasks at hand“.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 1

I’m really pleased with the commission; it’s a great display space in an incredibly reputable establishment, which will be well used by people who will hopefully appreciate the piece.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission

So am I allowed to blow my own trumpet?

 

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

 

Siem Reap, the Bright Side

January 2003, The Journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Clockwork Gallery - Angkor WatThe river trip was extraordinary! The boat was some sort of power barge, with people squeezed inside four-abreast sweating, or perilously balanced on the roof, burning! At least those on the roof didn’t need to endure a constant looped barrage of Japanese Karaoke, subtitled into Korean, dubbed into Khmer (Cambodian), and lustily sung by everyone barring me in the cabin (around sixty travellers). It was painful!!

After six hours of this we landed close to Siem Reap, and transferred into tiny fishing boats. An hour of very serene chugging brought us to the harbour; a muddy, dead-fish strewn slope that stank unbearably in the 40+ degree temperatures. It was wretched! Thankfully there was a taxi driver waiting for me. This was both surprising, as I didn’t order one, and unsurprising, as I’d already met his cousin in Phnom Penh. He promptly took me to a hotel of his choice, and then to the hotel of my choice when I refused to pay him, crying over his steering wheel all the way! Welcome to Siem Reap.

This place is nice and laid back. Surrounded by the most fantastic ‘temples’, Siem Reap is the perfect base for a relaxing exploratory break. Once you’ve got there, and as long as you don’t mind a lot of clambering around, you’ll be well rewarded by the countless stone sculptures, friezes and buildings. The accompanying picture is that of Angkor Wat, which is possibly the most well known of the Khmer ‘temples’. Temple is perhaps the wrong term; maybe palace would fit better, as they were built more for the Gods than mortal people. “Mountain” fits more closely however, the idea of which makes much more sense when you considered the peaks of these fantastic places poking out of the undergrowth of the perfectly flat surrounding countryside.

Some of these palaces are extremely tumbledown, such as Angkor Thom, which stays upright due to the trees that have grown through it. The trees themselves are so old that they are in turn propped up by the dilapidated buildings. You can see this in the picture below:

Clockwork Gallery - Angkor Thom

More on Siem Reap soon, along with Alan’s Tale…

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

Phnom Penh – The Dark Side

January 2003, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Clockwork Gallery - National flag of CambodiaFlying into Cambodia necessitates changing planes in Bangkok. If you’re wise that is. I have a friend who we were due to meet up with in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s second city. Let’s call him Alan, because that’s his name, and get to his tale a little later.

Once any sane person has changed planes in Bangkok (unlike Alan – we’ll get to him in the next post or two, don’t worry), there then ensues a rather uncomfortable two hour flight to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The plane takes off and doesn’t stop climbing for an hour, wherein it points its nose firmly downwards again and begins it’s descent into Phnom Penh, Pochentong airport. Anyone who’s taken a short flight knows the drill; stewardesses shove their trolley’s uphill to dispense drinks and plastic food, and then try to prevent the same trolley’s from disappearing through the front of the plane as they grab the empties. But this is a little different, as the plane climbs so steeply for so long. Also, the planes that ply the routes between these two South East Asian countries are designed for slighter frames than the average chubby European! I exclude myself from this grouping, obviously!!

Phnom Penh - The Dark Side

Cambodia’s part of the world in the planning stages

We landed and disgorged during the rebuilding of the airport’s reception area, and followed people who had no idea where they were going. When finally we were herded into the correct temporary shelter, we were confronted by a sinister looking row of officials who strained to peer at us through dark glasses, and then at the passports that had been swiped from us on the plane.Everyone sweated, not only due to the 80% humidity, but also because of the projected guilt that we all felt, as though we’d had our foreheads tattooed with ‘I done it’, ‘It’s a fair cop’, or some other suitably Sweeneyesque slogan. It was like Midnight Express! Honest!!

Next, fresh meat was called forward by one official or another by means of a pointed finger and a sharp grunt. My turn came and I was asked a few questions, which I neither understood or was seemingly required to answer – not that I could possibly have answered adequately anyway. Shockingly, I was ushered away con-passport and quickly left the building through the “Exit” tarpaulin … into the heaviest rainstorm I’ve ever encountered. Even worse than the one I’d been caught in in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, which nearly washed me down the Mid Levels. I managed to bag a taxi, or rather, the taxi driver managed to bag me, and we set off for the city. The place was packed with people calmly sheltering from the deluge anywhere they could, smoking to pass the time. This meant under bridges, doorways and quite worryingly due to the proliferation of lighted cigarettes, underneath petrol station forecourt awnings.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the rain

It’s a little known fact, but if you get into a taxi in Cambodia, the driver owns you! He’ll take you to a hotel of his choice even though you state your own preference, and will be waiting to pick you up in the morning to take you to the river harbour, whether you want him to do so or not! I did, so that was OK. The hotel to which he took me not wholly against my will as I was knackered. It was however a very scary place; screams, chain-dragging-on-floor noises and knocks on the door came free of charge most of the night.

Thank God for the morning, the waiting taxi driver and the escape to the river harbour…

River journey, the wonders of the Siem Reap region and Alan’s Tale coming soon.

 

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

Best ‘Til Last

New Year 2003, Sydney

Clockwork Gallery - Sydney's fireworks

Sydney’s New Year Fireworks Display

Wow, if there’s ever a good place to see in the New Year, Sydney’s got to be right up there with it!! The city’s busy but not so much as to get jostled; everyone gets a good view of the proceedings and all of the proceedings are in one good view. It’s fairly perfect – oh, and it’s T-Shirt weather too. Compare this to sub-zero Yorkshire, England avoiding lairy would-be-kissers, beer drenched clothes and foot-treading aplenty…I think I know where I’d like to be!

Anyway, the featured area of this article is South East Asia. I’d pondered getting straight to work on Europe, but being a European I figured (rightly as it turned out) that that Continent would be the easiest to define as an underground map. Better save that to last then – especially seeing as I was looking forward to doing that bit the most.

Sketch of Australasia & SE Asia - Clockwork Gallery

Sketch of Australasia & SE Asia – The beginning of the World Underground

Here’s the South East Asia sketch. As with all the areas of the world (yes, even Europe), it took hours and hours of trial and error and atlas scanning before I was happy with the end result.This isn’t the sketch that was produced on the plane from Auckland to Sydney, but it was this area that was featured – in a much rougher format at that time.

Back in Sydney, and England were fiddled out of the Fifth Test as Steve Waugh was out around three times before the umpire finally gave him out. The Aussies were in a bit of a panic as Andy Caddick and Steve Harmison set about them, but they scraped home in the end to put the seal on a good old fashioned drubbing. Still, Sydney’s a nice place!!

More incursions into Asia next time.

Clockwork Gallery is Featured in the Daily Mail Online

A fantastic piece has been written that prominently features my World Underground Maps. Written by Sarah Griffiths, the article cleverly investigates the (fictional) possibilities of such a system. Read it here:

The future of public transport? Map reveals how the entire WORLD could be connected using a global underground network

First Steps

End of December 2002, Auckland

By the time I’d left Melbourne, Melbourne was on the map, and before I’d touched down in Auckland, that city was also represented. A rudimentary plan of the area took shape on the plane, but there were questions to be addressed:

  • Should the lines go under the oceans? Yes I supposed so – this is a fantasy underground map after all.
  • What should constitute a station? Should it go on city population or general area population? A great deal of Canada would suffer from severe stationlessness if either of these became the rule, so a mixture of both with a dash of common sense and aesthetic license was to be employed.

One of the first sketches is shown here:

Sketch of Australia - The beginning of the World Underground

Sketch of Australia – The beginning of the World Underground

As I was in this part of the world it seemed like a logical place to start. I reckoned that a line covering east coastal Australian cities might do well to carry on through Papua New Guinea and up the Eastern Asian seaboard, a line could take in Alice Springs and Darwin before moving into South East Asia, and another could cut across to the west of Oz before moving up into India. As it turned out, Perth was the last stop on that line as the Darwin line took in India.

This part of the map

was a joy to create along with many other parts; many regions proved to be a nightmare!

More soon

Clockwork Gallery – Inception

29th December 2002, Melbourne

MCG, Melbourne

MCG, Melbourne – England getting duffed!

It’s December 2002 and I’ve just witnessed England’s demise at the hands of the Australians in the 4th (cricket) Test match. There’s another Test due to start in Sydney in a few days and I’m off to see my friends in Auckland after that, before flying home via Hong Kong. Home’s 11,000 miles away in Yorkshire, England and it’s new year. Wouldn’t it be great if it were possible to just jump onto the World Tube, pop home for new year and then pop back to watch the 5th Test?

Underground is a series of imaginary underground rail networks (after Harry Beck’s revolutionary model) that connects the globe together. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to jump on a tube in New York and be anywhere in the world within the hour? I did – that’s why I created these world underground maps.

I came up with the idea for a world underground tube when I was travelling far from home. This is the journal that plots the thought process of the physical journey that inspired its creation.

Clockwork Gallery – Featured Books

Metro Maps of the World

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden features several of my maps and is currently available to buy on-line.

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden

Buy Metro Maps of the World

 

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter is an academic publication (and as such is rather expensive) concerning the temples of the Angkor/Siem Riep region of Cambodia.

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter

Buy Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor

 

Edexcel AS Geography Textbook

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al is another academic work aimed at ‘A’ Level students.

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al

Buy the Edexcel AS Geography Textbook

Clockwork Gallery – Shows

Here are some of the shows in which my work has featured over the years:

  • Windows of Opportunity, York
  • ‘CPA5’ at The Photography Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax
  • Eastthorpe Gallery, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
  • ‘A Fine Line’ at Euroart Studios, Tottenham, London
  • ‘Off the Wall’ at Brahm Gallery, Headingley, Leeds
  • ’30 x 30′ Artworks-MK, Parklands, Great Linford, Milton Keynes
  • Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
  • ‘Connections’ at Brahm Gallery, Headingley, Leeds

I’m afraid that I’ve come to the conclusion now that showing work in this fashion is more trouble than it’s worth, so don’t expect to see any of my pieces displayed in exhibitions any more.

Antipocentric Featured at Australian National University

Apologies here, as I’m about to blow my own trumpet. I think I have good cause though. Read on to see if you agree…

Towards the end of 2014 I received an email from the Postgraduate & Research Students’ Association at the Australian National University (PARSA ANU). It stated that they were moving to a new office space and that they therefore needed a new design for for the meeting room. One of their team had spotted my artwork, and wondered if they could commission my Eurocentric world-map as a potential image for the glass partitions of the room. As they are based in Australia, I wondered if they might not prefer to use Antipocentric instead. As soon as they’d seen this version, Antipocentric it was!

Antipocentric by Chris Gray

Antipocentric by Chris Gray

They specifically liked the fact that “the image embodies global connections, is fresh, creative and interesting“. They were also pleased that “it also works well for a meeting room as it reminds users of the planning aspect of tasks“.

The image was sent across to the printers, Screenmakers of Canberra, where it was converted to translucent film and thereafter applied to the glass.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 4

Student Assistance Officer, Wayne Joseph told me that “everyone loves it! Quite literally…general visitors and guests at our grand opening all took time to contemplate it“.

He went on to mention that many remarked that “it’s such a cool concept, and others were especially pleased that it’s Antipocentric. It plays well into an emerging transportation theme because of the street-sign light fixtures, and also matches a piece of artwork that we acquired. Moreover, it reflects the transient and global nature of ANU postgraduate students“.

The room space looks fantastic; I wish I had a studio as spacious and light as that. Perhaps I should move to Australia, although I’d most likely need to drug my wife in order to do so!

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 5

The only issue I can see with this piece of work on full display in a meeting room might be that it is bound to take the attention away from the business at hand, as people tend to spend quite a lot of time simply plotting the points on the lines. Wayne got around this when he told me “as for being positioned in a meeting room, well, at least our representatives will be guided in their daydreaming during meetings & will hopefully find their way back to the tasks at hand“.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 1

I’m really pleased with the commission; it’s a great display space in an incredibly reputable establishment, which will be well used by people who will hopefully appreciate the piece.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission

So am I allowed to blow my own trumpet?

 

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

 

Siem Reap, the Bright Side

January 2003, The Journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Clockwork Gallery - Angkor WatThe river trip was extraordinary! The boat was some sort of power barge, with people squeezed inside four-abreast sweating, or perilously balanced on the roof, burning! At least those on the roof didn’t need to endure a constant looped barrage of Japanese Karaoke, subtitled into Korean, dubbed into Khmer (Cambodian), and lustily sung by everyone barring me in the cabin (around sixty travellers). It was painful!!

After six hours of this we landed close to Siem Reap, and transferred into tiny fishing boats. An hour of very serene chugging brought us to the harbour; a muddy, dead-fish strewn slope that stank unbearably in the 40+ degree temperatures. It was wretched! Thankfully there was a taxi driver waiting for me. This was both surprising, as I didn’t order one, and unsurprising, as I’d already met his cousin in Phnom Penh. He promptly took me to a hotel of his choice, and then to the hotel of my choice when I refused to pay him, crying over his steering wheel all the way! Welcome to Siem Reap.

This place is nice and laid back. Surrounded by the most fantastic ‘temples’, Siem Reap is the perfect base for a relaxing exploratory break. Once you’ve got there, and as long as you don’t mind a lot of clambering around, you’ll be well rewarded by the countless stone sculptures, friezes and buildings. The accompanying picture is that of Angkor Wat, which is possibly the most well known of the Khmer ‘temples’. Temple is perhaps the wrong term; maybe palace would fit better, as they were built more for the Gods than mortal people. “Mountain” fits more closely however, the idea of which makes much more sense when you considered the peaks of these fantastic places poking out of the undergrowth of the perfectly flat surrounding countryside.

Some of these palaces are extremely tumbledown, such as Angkor Thom, which stays upright due to the trees that have grown through it. The trees themselves are so old that they are in turn propped up by the dilapidated buildings. You can see this in the picture below:

Clockwork Gallery - Angkor Thom

More on Siem Reap soon, along with Alan’s Tale…

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

Phnom Penh – The Dark Side

January 2003, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Clockwork Gallery - National flag of CambodiaFlying into Cambodia necessitates changing planes in Bangkok. If you’re wise that is. I have a friend who we were due to meet up with in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s second city. Let’s call him Alan, because that’s his name, and get to his tale a little later.

Once any sane person has changed planes in Bangkok (unlike Alan – we’ll get to him in the next post or two, don’t worry), there then ensues a rather uncomfortable two hour flight to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The plane takes off and doesn’t stop climbing for an hour, wherein it points its nose firmly downwards again and begins it’s descent into Phnom Penh, Pochentong airport. Anyone who’s taken a short flight knows the drill; stewardesses shove their trolley’s uphill to dispense drinks and plastic food, and then try to prevent the same trolley’s from disappearing through the front of the plane as they grab the empties. But this is a little different, as the plane climbs so steeply for so long. Also, the planes that ply the routes between these two South East Asian countries are designed for slighter frames than the average chubby European! I exclude myself from this grouping, obviously!!

Phnom Penh - The Dark Side

Cambodia’s part of the world in the planning stages

We landed and disgorged during the rebuilding of the airport’s reception area, and followed people who had no idea where they were going. When finally we were herded into the correct temporary shelter, we were confronted by a sinister looking row of officials who strained to peer at us through dark glasses, and then at the passports that had been swiped from us on the plane.Everyone sweated, not only due to the 80% humidity, but also because of the projected guilt that we all felt, as though we’d had our foreheads tattooed with ‘I done it’, ‘It’s a fair cop’, or some other suitably Sweeneyesque slogan. It was like Midnight Express! Honest!!

Next, fresh meat was called forward by one official or another by means of a pointed finger and a sharp grunt. My turn came and I was asked a few questions, which I neither understood or was seemingly required to answer – not that I could possibly have answered adequately anyway. Shockingly, I was ushered away con-passport and quickly left the building through the “Exit” tarpaulin … into the heaviest rainstorm I’ve ever encountered. Even worse than the one I’d been caught in in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, which nearly washed me down the Mid Levels. I managed to bag a taxi, or rather, the taxi driver managed to bag me, and we set off for the city. The place was packed with people calmly sheltering from the deluge anywhere they could, smoking to pass the time. This meant under bridges, doorways and quite worryingly due to the proliferation of lighted cigarettes, underneath petrol station forecourt awnings.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the rain

It’s a little known fact, but if you get into a taxi in Cambodia, the driver owns you! He’ll take you to a hotel of his choice even though you state your own preference, and will be waiting to pick you up in the morning to take you to the river harbour, whether you want him to do so or not! I did, so that was OK. The hotel to which he took me not wholly against my will as I was knackered. It was however a very scary place; screams, chain-dragging-on-floor noises and knocks on the door came free of charge most of the night.

Thank God for the morning, the waiting taxi driver and the escape to the river harbour…

River journey, the wonders of the Siem Reap region and Alan’s Tale coming soon.

 

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

Best ‘Til Last

New Year 2003, Sydney

Clockwork Gallery - Sydney's fireworks

Sydney’s New Year Fireworks Display

Wow, if there’s ever a good place to see in the New Year, Sydney’s got to be right up there with it!! The city’s busy but not so much as to get jostled; everyone gets a good view of the proceedings and all of the proceedings are in one good view. It’s fairly perfect – oh, and it’s T-Shirt weather too. Compare this to sub-zero Yorkshire, England avoiding lairy would-be-kissers, beer drenched clothes and foot-treading aplenty…I think I know where I’d like to be!

Anyway, the featured area of this article is South East Asia. I’d pondered getting straight to work on Europe, but being a European I figured (rightly as it turned out) that that Continent would be the easiest to define as an underground map. Better save that to last then – especially seeing as I was looking forward to doing that bit the most.

Sketch of Australasia & SE Asia - Clockwork Gallery

Sketch of Australasia & SE Asia – The beginning of the World Underground

Here’s the South East Asia sketch. As with all the areas of the world (yes, even Europe), it took hours and hours of trial and error and atlas scanning before I was happy with the end result.This isn’t the sketch that was produced on the plane from Auckland to Sydney, but it was this area that was featured – in a much rougher format at that time.

Back in Sydney, and England were fiddled out of the Fifth Test as Steve Waugh was out around three times before the umpire finally gave him out. The Aussies were in a bit of a panic as Andy Caddick and Steve Harmison set about them, but they scraped home in the end to put the seal on a good old fashioned drubbing. Still, Sydney’s a nice place!!

More incursions into Asia next time.

Clockwork Gallery is Featured in the Daily Mail Online

A fantastic piece has been written that prominently features my World Underground Maps. Written by Sarah Griffiths, the article cleverly investigates the (fictional) possibilities of such a system. Read it here:

The future of public transport? Map reveals how the entire WORLD could be connected using a global underground network

First Steps

End of December 2002, Auckland

By the time I’d left Melbourne, Melbourne was on the map, and before I’d touched down in Auckland, that city was also represented. A rudimentary plan of the area took shape on the plane, but there were questions to be addressed:

  • Should the lines go under the oceans? Yes I supposed so – this is a fantasy underground map after all.
  • What should constitute a station? Should it go on city population or general area population? A great deal of Canada would suffer from severe stationlessness if either of these became the rule, so a mixture of both with a dash of common sense and aesthetic license was to be employed.

One of the first sketches is shown here:

Sketch of Australia - The beginning of the World Underground

Sketch of Australia – The beginning of the World Underground

As I was in this part of the world it seemed like a logical place to start. I reckoned that a line covering east coastal Australian cities might do well to carry on through Papua New Guinea and up the Eastern Asian seaboard, a line could take in Alice Springs and Darwin before moving into South East Asia, and another could cut across to the west of Oz before moving up into India. As it turned out, Perth was the last stop on that line as the Darwin line took in India.

This part of the map

was a joy to create along with many other parts; many regions proved to be a nightmare!

More soon

Clockwork Gallery – Inception

29th December 2002, Melbourne

MCG, Melbourne

MCG, Melbourne – England getting duffed!

It’s December 2002 and I’ve just witnessed England’s demise at the hands of the Australians in the 4th (cricket) Test match. There’s another Test due to start in Sydney in a few days and I’m off to see my friends in Auckland after that, before flying home via Hong Kong. Home’s 11,000 miles away in Yorkshire, England and it’s new year. Wouldn’t it be great if it were possible to just jump onto the World Tube, pop home for new year and then pop back to watch the 5th Test?

Underground is a series of imaginary underground rail networks (after Harry Beck’s revolutionary model) that connects the globe together. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to jump on a tube in New York and be anywhere in the world within the hour? I did – that’s why I created these world underground maps.

I came up with the idea for a world underground tube when I was travelling far from home. This is the journal that plots the thought process of the physical journey that inspired its creation.

Clockwork Gallery – Featured Books

Metro Maps of the World

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden features several of my maps and is currently available to buy on-line.

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden

Buy Metro Maps of the World

 

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter is an academic publication (and as such is rather expensive) concerning the temples of the Angkor/Siem Riep region of Cambodia.

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter

Buy Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor

 

Edexcel AS Geography Textbook

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al is another academic work aimed at ‘A’ Level students.

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al

Buy the Edexcel AS Geography Textbook

Clockwork Gallery – Shows

Here are some of the shows in which my work has featured over the years:

  • Windows of Opportunity, York
  • ‘CPA5’ at The Photography Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax
  • Eastthorpe Gallery, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
  • ‘A Fine Line’ at Euroart Studios, Tottenham, London
  • ‘Off the Wall’ at Brahm Gallery, Headingley, Leeds
  • ’30 x 30′ Artworks-MK, Parklands, Great Linford, Milton Keynes
  • Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
  • ‘Connections’ at Brahm Gallery, Headingley, Leeds

I’m afraid that I’ve come to the conclusion now that showing work in this fashion is more trouble than it’s worth, so don’t expect to see any of my pieces displayed in exhibitions any more.

Antipocentric Featured at Australian National University

Apologies here, as I’m about to blow my own trumpet. I think I have good cause though. Read on to see if you agree…

Towards the end of 2014 I received an email from the Postgraduate & Research Students’ Association at the Australian National University (PARSA ANU). It stated that they were moving to a new office space and that they therefore needed a new design for for the meeting room. One of their team had spotted my artwork, and wondered if they could commission my Eurocentric world-map as a potential image for the glass partitions of the room. As they are based in Australia, I wondered if they might not prefer to use Antipocentric instead. As soon as they’d seen this version, Antipocentric it was!

Antipocentric by Chris Gray

Antipocentric by Chris Gray

They specifically liked the fact that “the image embodies global connections, is fresh, creative and interesting“. They were also pleased that “it also works well for a meeting room as it reminds users of the planning aspect of tasks“.

The image was sent across to the printers, Screenmakers of Canberra, where it was converted to translucent film and thereafter applied to the glass.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 4

Student Assistance Officer, Wayne Joseph told me that “everyone loves it! Quite literally…general visitors and guests at our grand opening all took time to contemplate it“.

He went on to mention that many remarked that “it’s such a cool concept, and others were especially pleased that it’s Antipocentric. It plays well into an emerging transportation theme because of the street-sign light fixtures, and also matches a piece of artwork that we acquired. Moreover, it reflects the transient and global nature of ANU postgraduate students“.

The room space looks fantastic; I wish I had a studio as spacious and light as that. Perhaps I should move to Australia, although I’d most likely need to drug my wife in order to do so!

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 5

The only issue I can see with this piece of work on full display in a meeting room might be that it is bound to take the attention away from the business at hand, as people tend to spend quite a lot of time simply plotting the points on the lines. Wayne got around this when he told me “as for being positioned in a meeting room, well, at least our representatives will be guided in their daydreaming during meetings & will hopefully find their way back to the tasks at hand“.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission 1

I’m really pleased with the commission; it’s a great display space in an incredibly reputable establishment, which will be well used by people who will hopefully appreciate the piece.

Clockwork Gallery - PARSA ANU Commission

So am I allowed to blow my own trumpet?

 

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

 

Siem Reap, the Bright Side

January 2003, The Journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Clockwork Gallery - Angkor WatThe river trip was extraordinary! The boat was some sort of power barge, with people squeezed inside four-abreast sweating, or perilously balanced on the roof, burning! At least those on the roof didn’t need to endure a constant looped barrage of Japanese Karaoke, subtitled into Korean, dubbed into Khmer (Cambodian), and lustily sung by everyone barring me in the cabin (around sixty travellers). It was painful!!

After six hours of this we landed close to Siem Reap, and transferred into tiny fishing boats. An hour of very serene chugging brought us to the harbour; a muddy, dead-fish strewn slope that stank unbearably in the 40+ degree temperatures. It was wretched! Thankfully there was a taxi driver waiting for me. This was both surprising, as I didn’t order one, and unsurprising, as I’d already met his cousin in Phnom Penh. He promptly took me to a hotel of his choice, and then to the hotel of my choice when I refused to pay him, crying over his steering wheel all the way! Welcome to Siem Reap.

This place is nice and laid back. Surrounded by the most fantastic ‘temples’, Siem Reap is the perfect base for a relaxing exploratory break. Once you’ve got there, and as long as you don’t mind a lot of clambering around, you’ll be well rewarded by the countless stone sculptures, friezes and buildings. The accompanying picture is that of Angkor Wat, which is possibly the most well known of the Khmer ‘temples’. Temple is perhaps the wrong term; maybe palace would fit better, as they were built more for the Gods than mortal people. “Mountain” fits more closely however, the idea of which makes much more sense when you considered the peaks of these fantastic places poking out of the undergrowth of the perfectly flat surrounding countryside.

Some of these palaces are extremely tumbledown, such as Angkor Thom, which stays upright due to the trees that have grown through it. The trees themselves are so old that they are in turn propped up by the dilapidated buildings. You can see this in the picture below:

Clockwork Gallery - Angkor Thom

More on Siem Reap soon, along with Alan’s Tale…

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

Phnom Penh – The Dark Side

January 2003, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Clockwork Gallery - National flag of CambodiaFlying into Cambodia necessitates changing planes in Bangkok. If you’re wise that is. I have a friend who we were due to meet up with in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s second city. Let’s call him Alan, because that’s his name, and get to his tale a little later.

Once any sane person has changed planes in Bangkok (unlike Alan – we’ll get to him in the next post or two, don’t worry), there then ensues a rather uncomfortable two hour flight to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The plane takes off and doesn’t stop climbing for an hour, wherein it points its nose firmly downwards again and begins it’s descent into Phnom Penh, Pochentong airport. Anyone who’s taken a short flight knows the drill; stewardesses shove their trolley’s uphill to dispense drinks and plastic food, and then try to prevent the same trolley’s from disappearing through the front of the plane as they grab the empties. But this is a little different, as the plane climbs so steeply for so long. Also, the planes that ply the routes between these two South East Asian countries are designed for slighter frames than the average chubby European! I exclude myself from this grouping, obviously!!

Phnom Penh - The Dark Side

Cambodia’s part of the world in the planning stages

We landed and disgorged during the rebuilding of the airport’s reception area, and followed people who had no idea where they were going. When finally we were herded into the correct temporary shelter, we were confronted by a sinister looking row of officials who strained to peer at us through dark glasses, and then at the passports that had been swiped from us on the plane.Everyone sweated, not only due to the 80% humidity, but also because of the projected guilt that we all felt, as though we’d had our foreheads tattooed with ‘I done it’, ‘It’s a fair cop’, or some other suitably Sweeneyesque slogan. It was like Midnight Express! Honest!!

Next, fresh meat was called forward by one official or another by means of a pointed finger and a sharp grunt. My turn came and I was asked a few questions, which I neither understood or was seemingly required to answer – not that I could possibly have answered adequately anyway. Shockingly, I was ushered away con-passport and quickly left the building through the “Exit” tarpaulin … into the heaviest rainstorm I’ve ever encountered. Even worse than the one I’d been caught in in Hong Kong a couple of years ago, which nearly washed me down the Mid Levels. I managed to bag a taxi, or rather, the taxi driver managed to bag me, and we set off for the city. The place was packed with people calmly sheltering from the deluge anywhere they could, smoking to pass the time. This meant under bridges, doorways and quite worryingly due to the proliferation of lighted cigarettes, underneath petrol station forecourt awnings.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the rain

It’s a little known fact, but if you get into a taxi in Cambodia, the driver owns you! He’ll take you to a hotel of his choice even though you state your own preference, and will be waiting to pick you up in the morning to take you to the river harbour, whether you want him to do so or not! I did, so that was OK. The hotel to which he took me not wholly against my will as I was knackered. It was however a very scary place; screams, chain-dragging-on-floor noises and knocks on the door came free of charge most of the night.

Thank God for the morning, the waiting taxi driver and the escape to the river harbour…

River journey, the wonders of the Siem Reap region and Alan’s Tale coming soon.

 

Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery

Best ‘Til Last

New Year 2003, Sydney

Clockwork Gallery - Sydney's fireworks

Sydney’s New Year Fireworks Display

Wow, if there’s ever a good place to see in the New Year, Sydney’s got to be right up there with it!! The city’s busy but not so much as to get jostled; everyone gets a good view of the proceedings and all of the proceedings are in one good view. It’s fairly perfect – oh, and it’s T-Shirt weather too. Compare this to sub-zero Yorkshire, England avoiding lairy would-be-kissers, beer drenched clothes and foot-treading aplenty…I think I know where I’d like to be!

Anyway, the featured area of this article is South East Asia. I’d pondered getting straight to work on Europe, but being a European I figured (rightly as it turned out) that that Continent would be the easiest to define as an underground map. Better save that to last then – especially seeing as I was looking forward to doing that bit the most.

Sketch of Australasia & SE Asia - Clockwork Gallery

Sketch of Australasia & SE Asia – The beginning of the World Underground

Here’s the South East Asia sketch. As with all the areas of the world (yes, even Europe), it took hours and hours of trial and error and atlas scanning before I was happy with the end result.This isn’t the sketch that was produced on the plane from Auckland to Sydney, but it was this area that was featured – in a much rougher format at that time.

Back in Sydney, and England were fiddled out of the Fifth Test as Steve Waugh was out around three times before the umpire finally gave him out. The Aussies were in a bit of a panic as Andy Caddick and Steve Harmison set about them, but they scraped home in the end to put the seal on a good old fashioned drubbing. Still, Sydney’s a nice place!!

More incursions into Asia next time.

Clockwork Gallery is Featured in the Daily Mail Online

A fantastic piece has been written that prominently features my World Underground Maps. Written by Sarah Griffiths, the article cleverly investigates the (fictional) possibilities of such a system. Read it here:

The future of public transport? Map reveals how the entire WORLD could be connected using a global underground network

First Steps

End of December 2002, Auckland

By the time I’d left Melbourne, Melbourne was on the map, and before I’d touched down in Auckland, that city was also represented. A rudimentary plan of the area took shape on the plane, but there were questions to be addressed:

  • Should the lines go under the oceans? Yes I supposed so – this is a fantasy underground map after all.
  • What should constitute a station? Should it go on city population or general area population? A great deal of Canada would suffer from severe stationlessness if either of these became the rule, so a mixture of both with a dash of common sense and aesthetic license was to be employed.

One of the first sketches is shown here:

Sketch of Australia - The beginning of the World Underground

Sketch of Australia – The beginning of the World Underground

As I was in this part of the world it seemed like a logical place to start. I reckoned that a line covering east coastal Australian cities might do well to carry on through Papua New Guinea and up the Eastern Asian seaboard, a line could take in Alice Springs and Darwin before moving into South East Asia, and another could cut across to the west of Oz before moving up into India. As it turned out, Perth was the last stop on that line as the Darwin line took in India.

This part of the map

was a joy to create along with many other parts; many regions proved to be a nightmare!

More soon

Clockwork Gallery – Inception

29th December 2002, Melbourne

MCG, Melbourne

MCG, Melbourne – England getting duffed!

It’s December 2002 and I’ve just witnessed England’s demise at the hands of the Australians in the 4th (cricket) Test match. There’s another Test due to start in Sydney in a few days and I’m off to see my friends in Auckland after that, before flying home via Hong Kong. Home’s 11,000 miles away in Yorkshire, England and it’s new year. Wouldn’t it be great if it were possible to just jump onto the World Tube, pop home for new year and then pop back to watch the 5th Test?

Underground is a series of imaginary underground rail networks (after Harry Beck’s revolutionary model) that connects the globe together. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to jump on a tube in New York and be anywhere in the world within the hour? I did – that’s why I created these world underground maps.

I came up with the idea for a world underground tube when I was travelling far from home. This is the journal that plots the thought process of the physical journey that inspired its creation.

Clockwork Gallery – Featured Books

Metro Maps of the World

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden features several of my maps and is currently available to buy on-line.

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden

Metro Maps of the World: v. 2 by Mark Ovenden

Buy Metro Maps of the World

 

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter is an academic publication (and as such is rather expensive) concerning the temples of the Angkor/Siem Riep region of Cambodia.

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter

Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor by Dr Tim Winter

Buy Post-conflict Heritage, Postcolonial Tourism; culture, politics and development at Angkor

 

Edexcel AS Geography Textbook

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al is another academic work aimed at ‘A’ Level students.

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al

The Edexcel AS Geography Textbook by Simon Oakes et al

Buy the Edexcel AS Geography Textbook

Clockwork Gallery – Shows

Here are some of the shows in which my work has featured over the years:

  • Windows of Opportunity, York
  • ‘CPA5’ at The Photography Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax
  • Eastthorpe Gallery, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
  • ‘A Fine Line’ at Euroart Studios, Tottenham, London
  • ‘Off the Wall’ at Brahm Gallery, Headingley, Leeds
  • ’30 x 30′ Artworks-MK, Parklands, Great Linford, Milton Keynes
  • Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
  • ‘Connections’ at Brahm Gallery, Headingley, Leeds

I’m afraid that I’ve come to the conclusion now that showing work in this fashion is more trouble than it’s worth, so don’t expect to see any of my pieces displayed in exhibitions any more.