BADGES & BUTTONS, WAISTCOATS & VESTS curated by Elizabeth Turrell and Bob Ebendorf.
Old waistcoat, embroidered. Lined with a silk Cold War “Escape Map”.
Badges made of vitreous enamel on copper, brass and silver, with sterling silver pins and clasps.
This waistcoat was inspired by one of my favourite walks, along the estuary of the River Nevern in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I often meet people burdened with rucksacks, maps and GPS devices. I hate carrying things but as a geographer I understand the value of maps.
In World War II maps were printed on silk to enable servicemen to avoid capture or to escape. They were concealed within garments or folded very tightly to fit into a cigarette packet or a hollow heel. They did not rustle if unfolded and could survive immersion in water. These maps are still being made for use in conflict zones around the world.
My map can be worn, and if lost I can easily take it off to find out where I am. I have embroidered the main features and the route of the path on an old waistcoat. Small badges have been enamelled with beautifully drawn map symbols taken from the 1888 Ordnance Survey Map.
I have also added badges in silver and brass which act as a memory device encompassing sounds, sights, history and emotions. They mark our house, favourite views and places where I have seen rare birds.
Photograph by Emma Lazenby