This instrument is clear evidence of the links between the astrolabe and astrology. On one side is an astrolabe for a single latitude, and on the other an astrological volvelle, used to find the positions of planets and other celestial bodies, especially in relation to the traditional astrological houses.
Astrolabes are problem solving instruments – they compute things such as the time of day according the position of the sun and the stars in the sky. Like a computer, you input information and then you receive output. They were typically made of brass and had a 6 inch diameter, although as we will see much larger ones were made.
Emma Mcnally’s Abstract Map Drawings London based artist makes abstract graphite drawings that look like city grids and star maps. But this description doesn’t come close to doing them justice. Usually large in scale, the drawings emit a wizened, emotive quality. In the end, the works are just as effective as maps of life’s random chaos as they are as any type of reference to formal cartography.