Shannon Rankin is an artist who uses the language of maps to explore the complexities and interconnections between the inner and outer worlds, between that which is known and that which remains beyond the field of knowledge, that mythical place on medieval maps where the dragons lie and cherubs blow the wind. The duality of our human capacity for imagination and reason, for creation and destruction, for being of nature and apart from it, is a rhumb line that courses through her work.
Suzette McAvoy, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art
Maps are Shannon Rankin’s raw material, her metaphor, her inspiration. She has cut nautical charts into strips and layered them into intricate filigrees; she has crunched and glued geological surveys into paper representations of tectonic plates; she has twisted astronomical diagrams into Mobius strips. She is a virtuoso of pattern, transforming the patterns revealed in maps—contours of mountains, snaking of rivers, constellations of stars, the imposed geometry of city streets—into elegant, disturbing symmetries.
Deborah Weisgall, Novelist and Arts Writer for the New York Times, The Atlantic and the New Yorker