Research Task: Visual conventions for time and place

For this exercise, I was asked to research examples of different visual conventions used to convey time and/or place/space. I will be researching using a timescale, so researching from 40,000-year-old cave paintings to 1988 animation.

I decided to do my own research as I found it very difficult using the UCA online library, it came up with a few suggestions but I thought it would be better if I used the internet and books.

I will list the photos of my findings and then sum up my research below:

Cave Paintings (40,000 years old)

Cave painting at Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil

Ancient Egypt – Hieroglyphs – 3200BC – 5200 years

A story that dates from the reign of Seti II, who ruled from 1200 to 1194 BC during the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom

Ancient Greece – Belly Amphora – (estimated between 520 and 510 BC) – 2500 years

Bayeux Tapestry (11th Century) 1066

A scene from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting Bishop Odo rallying Duke William’s troops during the Battle of Hastings in 1066

Sequential Photography (Frame by Frame) – Eadweard Muybridge – 1878

The Horse in Motion – Cabinet Cards – 6-12 cards (sequential series of electro-photographs). An example of chronophotography – to record the passing of time through photographs.

“Abe Edgington,” owned by Leland Stanford; driven by C. Marvin, trotting at a 2-24 gait over the Palo Alto track, 15th June 1878

Comic Books – (My personal collection) –

Watchmen – 1987

Batman ‘The Killing Joke’ – 1988

Akira – Volume 1 – Published in UK 1994 – (Published in Japan 1984)

Of course, the above is a comic book but later on in 1988 the Akira film came out, I had to include two great animation sequences below focusing on movement/time.

Summing up my research:

It’s very interesting looking back from 40,000 years ago onwards. You can see how the methods of visual conventions to convey time and or place/space has changed dramatically.

The use of colour and different mediums is interesting too, I like how they created colour in the Paleolithic Period by using ground-up rocks and minerals.

Most of the illustrations depict some form of battle/war, gods, or other important events, I suppose anything that needed to be remembered.

I like the difference in styles, it almost shows the human evolving with how they draw themselves and objects. The cavemen artists drew themselves and animals in a very simplistic almost childlike style in comparison to the Ancient Greek artists who drew themselves very detailed with good composition.

It is all very clever, but one that really stands out to me is the sequential photography of Eadweard Muybridge. Strangely enough, I watched a film called ‘Nope’ in the cinema this August where Eadweard’s imagery was played at the start (this was 2 months before I started this project so I was excited to include it in my research!) See the trailer below:

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