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Bird’s Eye View

Many of you know the origin of this mapmaking journey which actually started back in 1986 after I returned from backpacking around Europe & America with a collection of illustrated maps from some of the cities visited.

When searching for a similar illustrated map of my home town of Melbourne, my research delivered the 1880 etching by Samuel Calvert and illustrated by Albert Charles Cooke.

Unfortunately there is little information about how Albert went about his illustration process.

Maybe the answer lies in the image below found on the State Library of Victoria’s website of an artist atop a ship’s mast to view the city from above.

I am hoping that in another hundred years (or sooner), our journey will inspire a new generation of artists who will continue the tradition of illustrating this beautiful city. I’ll be leaving lots of notes (maybe one day a book) about the trials, tribulations and joys of recording Melbourne in this decade.


Here’s a screenshot of Sean Rodwell’s colouring progress. As you can see Sean is on the home stretch, having worked many 12 hour days.

Sean is a hugely accomplished artist with a vast body of works, but I am not sure even he really understood the challenge ahead of him when he agreed to take on this project.

I am so grateful for Sean’s dedication and attention to detail as he works with the extraordinary illustration of Lewis Brownlie, and Deborah Young Monk to present the next stage of The Melbourne Map’s life in colour.

The whole team could not have contemplated being at this point (after 3 years of work) without the backing and support of Melbournians via our Pozible crowd funding campaign and subsequently through pre-orders of the map.

Not long to go now and I am really looking forward to being at the stage of delivering The Melbourne Map.

Melinda Clarke