Emily Garfield’s intricate pen and watercolor drawings are inspired by the visual language of maps, as well as the fractal similarity that cities share with biological processes such as the patterns of cells and neurons. She invents each place as she draws, thinking about clustering of neighborhoods, patterns of roads and the individual selective memory that an inhabitant would use to navigate their city. The physical materials also influence each work; the topography of watercolor paper, the force of gravity on ink, or the tensile limitations of paper all structure her drawings in the same way that a landscape influences urban growth.
Emily Garfield creates intricate maps of imaginary places that explore the origins of cities and the function of maps themselves. She received her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University, where she also pursued studies in the brain’s response to art and aesthetic beauty through the Cognitive Science department. She has participated in exhibitions throughout the greater Boston area as well as New York and Philadelphia. Her work is in the collection of the Kamm Teapot Foundation as well as numerous private collections.