A Release from a Maximalist View
In art it's defined as an "aversion to empty spaces in artistic designs." Some artists define it as creating an environment that may leave a viewer entranced or as one artist said almost in a psychotropic state. I call it fussy.
One proponent of horror vacui in art traced its origins to Aristotle—nature abhors a vacuum. Early practitioners included the Greeks, Islamic artists, and several indigenous tribes in Central America and South America.
Mario Praz, an art historian—especially drawn to decorative arts, was the first to use the term horror vacui to describe busy, cluttered interior spaces. The definition then expanded to include two dimensional space.
Zacharia Well's writes, in his review of Thomas Heise's book of poetry Horror Vacui, that "Literally translated, Horror vacui is the fear of empty spaces. In a more technical sense, it refers to a maximalist aesthetic in visual art in which details proliferate to fill every square inch of blank canvas."
In our society, where noise surrounds us, finding or allowing for empty places may be difficult. Keeping busy, multi-tasking, getting ahead, taking on more and more activities complements the rush of our society.
Gone fishing belongs to a different era—or to a less hectic environment. And if all the interior spaces fill up with noise, to do lists, committees, must get to, and keep moving—no space exists for anything unexpected or to hear a small quiet voice.
When the dance card fills up, when the calendar—loaded with times and dates and alerts fills up—when there's no space, no empty spaces,—there's no room for the unanticipated.
Sometimes I doodle until every space disappears into another line, another filled spot, a dark shape—and if I kept going I could fill up page after page. Yet, at the end it might just be clutter.
So—if I want to hear the bird, hear the Spirit, hear the sound of wind, hear the Spirit, I need to extricate myself from too full dance cards. This release from a maximalist view opens me up to find an interior where empty space invites surprises.