There has been little academic research published on the work of Tim Robinson despite an illustrious career, first as an artist of the London avant-garde, then as a map-maker in the west of Ireland, and finally as an author of place. In part, this dearth is due to the difficulty of approaching these three diverse strands collectively. However, recent developments in the field of deep mapping encourage us to look back at the continuity of Robinson’s achievements in full and offer a suitable framework for doing so. Socially engaged with living communities and a depth of historical knowledge about place, but at the same time keen to contribute artistically to the ongoing contemporary culture of place, the parameters of deep mapping are broad enough to encompass the range of Robinson’s whole practice and suggest unique ways to illuminate his very unusual career. But Robinson’s achievements also encourage a reflection on the historical context of deep mapping itself, as well as on the nature of its spatial practice (especially where space comes to connote a medium to be worked rather than an area/volume). With this in mind the following article both explores Robinson’s work through deep mapping and deep mapping through the work of this unusual artist.
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