Reflections on painting my space back to white

Last week I had to paint my space back to the standard studio white that it had been before I used it for my degree show space. I had wanted to have my space black because white is too reflective, too harsh, and would have brightened the darkened space up and washed out all the subtle colours of the dark. Painting the space black had been easy as it’s the most forgiving colour. Cracks, bumps, nails and borders disappear under one coat of black emulsion. I feel that black, as a colour, is a silencer, a velvet cushioning of background noise so that only the infinity of silence remains. White on the other hand brings out the noise, it exemplifies every insignificant detail of disorder or imperfection. White paint can be layered again and again and still small flaws will be perceptible. The colour white is an amalgamation of all the colours, it totalizes and at the same time cancels them out. White only leaves room for other colours in relation to itself, in relation to its totality. Black on the other hand is a backdrop, a colour which bears no relation to other colours and so will never take away from them. Painting my room black made the lights in my sculptures a necessity, rather than an interesting decoration. In the colour black is the infinity of God, the zero of form and the essence of the void. In the colour white is the fallacy of blankness and neutrality, it is the hideous whiteness of the whale (yes I’m still reading Moby Dick). Maybe I think these things, or maybe I just resented having to spend so long painting a room white.

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