Spatial and Temporal Dimensions

One problem I encounter frequently in both my professional and personal work is the challenge of representing the three dimensional world on a two dimensional surface. Fortunately I live in an age where various solutions to this problem have been developed over the centuries to form the basis of perspective drawing. There is, however, a further dimension to consider, which is sometimes referred to as the fourth dimension but which would be more accurately described as a temporal dimension – time. A� As we move past a three dimensional object, our view of it changes and so there cannot be one true two dimensional view of a three dimensional object. In a similar way, as time passes, our view of an object is affected. I considered this when I set about making some studies for a drawing of Mesogi. I took numerous photos of one of my favourite streets in the village at different times of the day and although the basic layout of the buildings in the village remained roughly the same, there was also a lot that changed. Cars moved, cafes opened and shut, light came first from one angle and then from another, people moved in and out of shot and, were we to observe the view for months, rather than years, flowers and trees would go through the seasons and bloom and change. These observations are not especially startling and when written down do start to resemble a look a a�?time passinga�� clip in a movie, but they certainly should be considered when approaching a drawing of a street as it is the transient aspects of a section of landscape that give it life and if you can get this across, then the drawing will work far better. A� Here are two stages of one of the sketches I made of Mesogi over the weekend. Ita��s the first section of a panoramic drawing which will show a crossroads near the centre of the village. The first draft was OK, but a little lifeless. I wanted to get across more of the movement of the street. panoramic 1 A� I added a shadow across the left hand side of the large building and so I decided to work into that a bit. I used a photo I took of a building on the other side of the street and developed the shapes with the shaded area to reflect the buildings across the street. A� I also looked at photos of the same building taken at different points in the day to see where the shadows lay and added several different lines to indicate the shadows in the street. The result is a slightly more vibrant building which might work better in a panoramic composition. panoramic 2 Ia��ve provided a fairly limited explanation of dimensions here but ita��s a fascinating topic which has been explored in numerous ways by other artists in the past, in particular the Futurist movement of the Early 20th Century. Therea��s an interesting article about dimensions in art to be found here A� Flatlands, a novel by Edwin Abbott, is a truly idiosyncratic book about dimensions which I fell I love with the first time I read it and which I believe holds a curious kind of cult status. It is certainly well worth a read. It has been adapted into a film, which looks a�� from the extremely limited amount of it I saw a�� a little like a cross between the original film Tron and the 1980a��s kid’s TV show Knightmare, (both of which have an interesting take in their own rightA�on spatial dimensions). I havena��t watched the film yet but if you care to view it, it can be found on Youtube.