A single day. A single hour. A single second. This week, in Comics: Art in Relationship, our task was to explore the ways in which the same six panels could portray different stretches of time. For such an exploration, memories of summer holidays at my grandparents’ house in Dublin seemed like the perfect subject matter.
This is the house I go back to in my dreams…
Grandma sits in the armchair and writes secrets in her notebooks…
Time in comics is like dough; you can pack it into a tight ball (compression) or roll it out thinly over a large space (decompression). And this dough is infinitely pliable; from one panel to the next, millions of years could pass or no time at all.
I interact with my memories in a similar way, although I don’t travel quite as far as a million years! I ponder over a single moment, stretching it out. I dive into the memory and time stands still while I unpack it. Or I remember a whole day, a whole summer, as one atmosphere, tightly packed into a ball.
I relive each night
this peeling of the apple –
all we have is time.
Spilling an entire cake onto Aengus MacDonald’s lap was not my finest achievement. However, stretching out that moment where the plate wobbles and the cake falls, has made me appreciate the sweetness and humour of this event in a whole new way.