Torgeir Husevaag / home / map projects / reservoirs


Reservoirs (2013-15)

Felt tipped pens on paper,

Various sizes, shown in different constallations.




A series of man-made lakes from different continents are portrayed. The lakes are drawn from satellite images, and rivers flooded by them are recreated in their original state from old maps or (when available) archival satellite footage. The rivers are shown as white lines running through the blue lakes. The reservoirs that were selected for the series are either chosen because of their shape, or the political or environmental impact they have caused.


Originally these drawings were a spin off of from an Artist´s book made to compliment a work of public art (World Square Atlas/ River Bank), but I thought they worked in their own right, and made an autonomous series out of them.







The style of drawing where imitated contour lines compensate for lack of knowledge about depts, are based on maps from the 19th century. It emphasizes coast lines, with their sharp, jagged character, typical for artificial lakes. The shapes of the reservoirs may be decorative and trigger cute assosiations, but they also contain something agressive, artificial lakes may both appear like a jewel or a gash/ wound in their surroundings. 


The slow method of drawing is obviously not a rational way to draw maps in the 21st century. When it was, these particular motifs were out of reach, the terrain did not exist.