• The ornament of grammar

Blair, Sarah ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8316-5876, 2019, Journal Article, The ornament of grammar Journal of Illustration, 6 (1). pp. 137-160. ISSN 2052-0204

Abstract or Description:

Part of an ongoing research project to interpret linguistic grammar visually, this essay presents initial experiments to visualise rhetorical patterns in English sentences. Creative contextualisation is offered with reference to earlier visual forms that were treated as a kind of language. A certain strand in Modernism - in particular that running through the Bauhaus which used abstract devices as a foundational design syntax - opened the way for post-war picture books to activate the narrative potential of simple coloured shapes; and, again, avant-garde musical scores from the 1950s onwards used exploratory graphic notations to instigate expressive new treatments of sound. My own visualisations are playful in spirit but posit a serious idea that grammar works by means of deep aesthetic tendencies. My case studies - featuring a model user and a model abuser of English - flag up common patterns in typical sentence construction under seven descriptive labels. Ultimately the essay suggests that Illustration might flourish at the level of the sentence, the basic unit of meaning within word-based language and, in very simple terms, the expression of a thought. Ornamenting the rhythm and flow of how a sentence operates is one means of ‘seeing’ a voice give shape to thought.

Official URL: https://www.intellectbooks.com/journal-of-illustra...
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W220 Illustration
School or Centre: School of Communication
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/jill_00008_1
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 15:34
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2020 15:34
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4418
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