Ed Fairburn

Ed Fairburn, based in Dorset, UK, repurposes paper maps into unique portraits, a niche blending of his love for maps and portraiture. Working from his cottage, Ed collaborates with partner Viola, who handles logistics, while he transforms maps into captivating artworks.

Ed Fairburn

Edition Four feature
Words by: Ed Fairburn
Location: Dorset, UK 
Photo Credits: ©Ed Fairburn 


My name is Ed, and I live and work in Dorset, UK, with my partner Viola. I repurpose paper maps and atlases as a surface to create (mainly) portraits – a very niche way of creating art, which originally stems from my love of both maps and portraiture. I started working with maps as a creative medium in late 2012, shortly after graduating from Cardiff School of Art and Design. It has since become a long-term project and my sole occupation, and in recent times, a partnership between me and Viola. 

We have our studios at home in our cottage, which is located in a small market town in a fairly rural setting. Viola organises and manages most of the administrative and logistical work and provides technical support with the artwork: preparing and editing maps, making alterations, framing, packing and shipping. I do most of the drawing and other pencil-to-paper processes.