Lessons in Cartography
An exhibition with Maze Studios & artists from Picardy, France, "Voyager II: Lost Highway", Phoenix Gallery, Brighton, 2004
"I have . . . had some concerns about the use of systems of signification which exist in the world and which have then been imported into work in some way. I think this is largely because it is an easy way to intellectually reference notions about and of the world, but I found June Nelson's work very convincing and beautiful. There seemed to be a sensibility about the look and feel of the work, which complemented the ideas the work seemed to be articulating. There was a sense of now and history, and the balance between the two was delicately handled on both a figurative and abstract level."
Peter Jones (painter and co-founder of Turps Banana)
"If the concept of ‘nature’ is, in reality, wholly subjective, it is not surprising that the (supposedly scientific) pursuit of cartography can seem similarly untrustworthy. Strictly speaking, geographical maps are a fiction created through our desire to simplify and understand things on a manageable scale while always ensuring, consciously or not, that they propagate our entrenched beliefs. (Just look at the medieval Mappa Mundi . . . where, reflecting a Christian worldview, Jerusalem is placed firmly in the centre.) The vagaries of mapmaking have been astutely summarised by the collection of compasses and maps in June Nelson’s Lessons in Cartography. Drawing on a range of cartographical curiosities, Nelson illustrates the variety of approaches in mapmaking and navigation and thus how the practice is inherently personal. Cartography is an apt metaphor for how we steer a course through the complexities of everyday life and it is unsurprising that when Ptolemy, writing in the 2nd century BC, wanted to define geography, he chose to compare it to the art of portrait painters."
Pryle Berhman (art journalist and curator)