Negative Space

If I remember correctly or even better go on Wikipedia.

Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subjects of an image.

My mind is immediately drawn to white and black, landscapes, roads, skies, backgrounds of all description. Is this negative space pulling the subjects into focus demanding closer inspection of them? Architecture has its negative space too. It may be grand as between spires on a cathedral or a window that spans the entire side of a building. Does this draw our eyes towards the built solid walls buttressing this see-through wonder? If the walls are positive subjects than the space around them and between them must be negative? Are our eyes drawn into the building? Right! In art, the negative space fills in the spaces around the edges of the subject making it look like one. Know what I mean? Right. There is no continuity not in atoms or colour. Zilch. So why do artists draw subject and objects that do not plainly exist? At least not in the way that they are painting them. Right. Artists are all liars. They paint what appears real or unreal to the mind’s eye.

Anyway, the human eye registers what? Background, foreground, top, bottom, left right? dark, light, shade, light, colour tone etc. I could go on. Isn’t this fascinating. Will you ever think of windows the same way again?
If something is negative like you can see right through it like a window is that positive (really there) or negative? Yes, something could be positive one way of looking and negative the other (like our picture window) Does this help you achieve bliss? Unless you are persistent sort of bugger like me, no. But bear with me. Imagine… One minute you could be travelling on a plane looking out of the window admiring natures majestic beauty (negative space included) the next you could be looking out of the window (negative space between important structural aluminium) and the next be looking at the structure of the very aeroplane and wondering if this and the surrounding skies are all an illusion of space and you are watching, from the comfort of your favorite armchair a video of negative space (there’s an idea) and the window is a spectacularly moving architecture video in which you majestically traverse the worlds negative spaces looking for moments of pure inspiration (The Taj Mahal, THe Pyramids of Giza, All museums) Go and plug-in Rhianna and CONCENTRATE on the negative space. Play mental space invaders firing ham baguettes at annoying positive spaces. Salvo Sixties brutalist architecture. Bombard Sixties housing estates and tower blocks. Carpet bomb Dresden (whoops!) Until you run out of baguettes. More negative space? Surely not? Where would you put it all?

Tune in again next week for more…

Published by Andrew Mark Watkins

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