There are walls, a floor, a ceiling. Windows fill one wall. The walls are different – some are brick, some are smooth. Doorways allow one to exit the space, some into another room, and one to the outside.
In it I will place art – some created by me, and some by other artists exploring truths through various media. And to it, people will come to experience the art and find ways to enrich their lives and preserve their own story. (Click here to learn more.)
But, for now, it’s an empty space.
I moved my studio a couple of weeks ago, and since that time I have been working with the help of many friends to transform a space into a studio and into a gallery. Because of the nature of the raw space, I have joked that had I fully processed the immensity of this task, I might have reconsidered. Each day I approach the space with an awareness of my vision for the space. I know what it can be. This vision is not about aesthetics or interior design. It’s about processes, creativity and spiritual engagement.
Empty space is a rare thing. As the idiom goes, nature abhors a vacuum. A vacuum is an attempt to defy the laws of nature and physics. As my friend Nathalie said when she and her family moved from France, where living spaces are smaller, to a typical large, suburban American, newly constructed house, “We are like the water; we fill whatever space we are in.”
So, perhaps my gallery isn’t empty at all. Or, if it is, it won’t be for long.
One evening, after a long day working in the dusty boxes, I walked from the studio area into the gallery. One of my daughters was sitting on the floor of the seemingly empty gallery. Unlike the later photo below, there were not yet any display cases or paintings or jewelry in the room at all. The street light outside barely illuminated the sparse room. She was just there, sitting, thinking, studying the light. A quiet moment in a completely vacant room is a rare opportunity. I asked to join her.
As we sat together, in the empty space, I realized the space wasn’t empty at all. We were there, and as we talked about the future of the space, potential became palpable.