The assignment study our neighborhood and talk several walks to observe our environments first hand. Write about, think it all over end up with symbolic maps based on our findings. The first of which is this first illustration, focused on texture, how far can you go with the map idea?
Near the mailbox doric temple is a tiny circular park of sorts with two doric themed benches and some large granitic rocks. A sort of southwestern zen garden of rocks, stones, and cacti it is one of my favorite places in my complex.
As it swings open the thick cool of air conditioning and ceiling fans envelopes me. Sitting at a weight bench I grab a metal bar and pull on it numerous times until my muscles ache and strain. I repeat this process throughout the room my course towel covering each chair or bench. If I am by myself then I turn off the TVs in the room and have only the A/C and coke machine drone to listen to. If not I might be confronted with any manner of music from country to rap or the blare and drone of television. Finally I rest on the floor doing stomach exercises and notice the grit, tiny stones and sometimes cactus thorns scattered about. Occasionally I get pinched adjusting a machine or lifting dumbbells.
Walking to the gate of my complex I hear wind in the trees and palm fronds that hang about. Opening the gate there is slight whine of rusted metal hinges, it closes with a clicking sound. If one sits, outside for any length of time around the complex the sound of distant traffic is easily heard, a major highway I 10 is mere blocks from the complex to the east. On the other sides are 48th (W) and Chandler blvd (N). Behind to the south is a barren waste and the Gila River Nation or Huhugam Tribal lands.
Numerous cactus beds can be seen. Prickly pear fruit with their blood appearance, mesquite beans scattered everywhere and the familiar yellow flowers of the palo verde tree, cover walks and beds of rocks and sand. Giant saguaro, barrel, pipe, agave, prickly pear, and yucca cacti line the streets and flank buildings.
Arriving at Arriba’s a Mexican and New Mexican eatery the smell of oil, fire roasted chillies, and meat strikes your nose. Then the sound of two rocky fountains hits your ears and the chiming out of traditional mariachi music.
This abstract form I discovered walking seems a kind of map. It seems to perfectly symbolize the three primary elements I live around. The organic winding landscaping, the concrete of paths, parking spaces, and houses and fields of stone and rocks scattered about.