Time and Motion: Alexandra Borders


This is page 75, taken from Picture This, a graphic novel by Lynda Barry. Barry, Lynda, and Kevin Kawula. Picture This. Montréal, Quebec: Drawn & Quarterly, 2010. Print.

As described on page 233 by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips  in Graphic Design: The New Basics, “Motion can be implied as well as literal…Artists have long sought ways to represent the movement of bodies and the passage of time within the real of static, 2-dimensional space.” This essentially means that within a picture or piece of art, motion can literally seen by drawing in the movement, for example. Yet it also can be implied in a way, using the passage of time, and perhaps different frames and panels to show this type of movement.

This can be seen on page 75 of Lynda Barry’s Picture This. Literal motion is shown in the upper right corner, where Barry has placed a rabbit. The rabbit is positioned and shaped in a specific way that shows the direction it’s facing, as well as the rabbit’s ears flat against its body as if being pushed back by some unseen force. Around and along the rabbit are erratic lines, which with the position of the rabbit and the placement of its ears, Barry is showing that the rabbit is indeed moving. It is perceived easy and most clearly.

Implied motion, on the other hand, is shown differently through seemingly progressing time by using the image of the monkey. The monkey is repeated within the picture, blocking off and scaling four smaller versions of the monkey to the right of the picture. They are then framed separately, yet linearly. Within this repetition, it is seen that the monkey carries the same blanket and looks the same, in some sort of slumbering or meditative state. The scaled monkeys, however, change colors in ways that can arguably represent different times of the day, conveying the progression of time. This motion is more implied so that whoever is look at it must recognize the specific devices and smaller drawn images that help represent this movement of time, that the eye follows the framed monkeys in a certain way and perceive the colors differently.

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