Gregory R. states, that images have a double reality; simple lines on a page can appear to be something completely different. An example of the phenomenon that he is describing, would be that of a simple formation of lines and dots, that are often interpreted by the human mind as a humanoid face; when in reality it is nothing more than lines and dots. It’s merely our minds that chance the meaning of the image, in order to distort it into something more familiar. There are many variations on this example, as can be seen in the image bellow:
This ambiguous image has been drawn in such a way in which it appears to be both the head of a Native American Chief and, simultaneously, an Inuit figure in the snow. Once you have seen one of the images within this drawing, it is hard to train your mind to then seen it as anything else, but once you have, they seem to seamlessly flow between the two.
It is therefore easy to see how the image can confuse the viewer, and how it is easy to simple see one and not the other, upon first viewing it.
The image will also be seen quite differently from person to person, depending on their background or cultural associations. someone who may have a background or connection to either culture will immediately see either the Inuit or Native american Chief respectively.
The image may also be effected by the season, as the heat of summer and cold in the winter may affect how different people see the image due to the obvious temperature connotations.
The way in which our minds interpret simple lines and images shows how we impose meaning upon otherwise ambiguous images. This can be used within the practice of illustration to convey different meanings within complex context, and to also encourage the audience to consider the images differently in order to understand their full effect and meaning; extending this, it can also be considered in other such ways. The use of colour in illustration, for example, as the associations of certain colours and their meaning within different contexts can be drawn from this principle, adding a whole new meaning to illustrative works.
One of the first things that we’re were asked to do at the start of this term was an exercise in which we used magazine images and pictures to create our messages and slogans. This exercise was an experiment in the relationship between words and image; how they can change meaning and tone when they’re relationship on the page is changed.
I really loved this exercise and the results I got from it. It was a lot of fun to play around with the words and odd phrases that I pulled from the magazines, and how they’re meaning changed completely when I put they into a new context.
The images to the left, astronaut on the moon, was one of my favorites; simply because I only noticed after I’d made it, that the astronaut is leaning slightly towards that burger pasted over the american flag. This was one of the first images that I made in the workshop and I had fun deciding what to put over the flag, the burger seemed to the logical choice, seen as the flag it’s covering is obviously american. This was an easy satire of modern america and the consumerism that it promotes.
Drawing by touch, rather than by sight, enables you to ‘look’ at an object in an entirely different way, this hugely effects the way in which you draw it. The freedom of touch allows you to draw a shape or object from an entirely different perspective. We primarily use sight when we draw, so taking it away gives you a greater sense of freedom when you draw, and allows you to draw more fluidly. You have to work out the ruff shape from feel alone, so that you are essentially drawing the feel of the object rather than the actually object, which is a very different experience from drawing the object from sight, as drawing a feeling is a very different way of working. For example; drawing something which is very solid and smooth, poses the problem of how you translate that on to paper, when you don’t actually know exactly what it looks like. This kind of thinking, that drawing from touch alone initiates, can be applied to illustration in this way, as in illustration you often have to draw a concept or feeling rather than a solid object. Contrasting the way that you draw the object once you actually know what it looks like, it’s clear that drawing from tough allows you drawing to be more expressive and fluid.