What’s So Negative About Space?

A few years ago as part of my graduate coursework I took a class called "Leadership and Imagination" ... the overall theme of the class was to see and see again.​ In other words, what are we missing in our daily life because we don't take a step back and look again from a different perspective. One of our assignments was to walk around campus with a camera and take pictures of every day objects from an unusual angle. My favorite submission was from a woman who displayed a beautiful abstract sculpture of pipe and cement. But when it was turned on it's "right" side, it was simply an ordinary boiler room.

We learned about negative space that day. Negative space is the space that is around and between the primary image in a photo or drawing. Using negative space properly is an art form unto itself. There is a famous example pictured here.

photo 1-2


Is this a white vase or the silhouette of two people facing one another?

Using negative space properly in our lives is an art form as well. Practicing silence. Seeking solitude. Allowing unscheduled, unstructured time. Without these moments of negative space, our brains will not have the opportunity to rest and refocus... and to see and see again.

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