What’s to be done with a void?

The only person I know who embraces one is the Guv’nor. It means he can pick up the keys, bowl in and do a full deck with no tenant breathing down his neck or worse. If all he ever did was voids he would be as happy as Larry (whoever he was). In ALMO or old council housing speak, a void is an empty property. Burnt out, flooded or simply trashed and abandoned the decorating squad would go in and give it a few coats of eggshell. White or magnolia to save breaking out a new roller and brush. No fancy wallpaper, no-one making your ears bleed about the damp. Lovely jubbly.

If only we could slap a coat of paint on our own voids and make them right over into swell pads for their inhabitants, we would not only be filling in the gaps, we would also be coining it in rent. Double bubble.

Rather inconveniently it is never so simple. We do it though don’t we. Clothe the void, feed the void, pimp the void. Still it remains. Maybe all that we are is in there, if only we could find it.

I feel bound to add, for those readers who might be related to me: I am fine. I’m down with mine.

Posted on September 28, 2010, in Art, Be not idle, Consumerism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I don’t like the negative connotations of the word ‘void’. It is an unhappy, ugly word, used for something that once meant quite a lot but has now had all meaning and emotion stripped from it and replaced with the ugly neighbours ‘o’ and ‘i’ providing the chasm within the meaning. I need to go and lie down after all that now.

  2. whereas ovoid is a rather lovely word, redolent of life and eggs and stuff…

  3. Bloody hell Wray Barton have you swallowed a philosopher’s stone for breakfast?

    They don’t have to be bad do they though. If we go along with Prof Hawking, that something has to come out of nothing in the end, it’s Pimms all round 🙂

  4. Before I go out: what about the voids we physically fill? A stage, a page, a musical instrument full of nothing.

    The best buildings (for me) are full of empty space: the British Museum, the Guggenheim NY, the Tate Modern and the domestic settings like a haveli in India, a riad in Morocco. The spaces we create where the mind can wonder and fill with life and busy ness.

    Perhaps our own internal spaces just need the opportunity to stage things briefly too, before returning to the void. It’s practically re-creation inside ourselves endlessly.

    Marvellous. Now I’ve got to go to Chelmsford in Minty the Honda Civic. If that doesn’t ground me, nothing will 😉

  5. Try this with Minty, you might win a prize:

  6. ‘Perhaps our own internal spaces just need the opportunity to stage things briefly too, before returning to the void. It’s practically re-creation inside ourselves endlessly.’

    Does this mean the void is filled with a process that ends up as piss and sh1t? Is that what you mean? Anything that’s fills the void always ends with the internal recreation of sh1t?

    • That’s one interpretation innit.

      A void can only stay empty for so long before it is filled up with one kind of crap or another.

      Certainly the inside of Minty the car knows all about that.

      I have more to add, but I am keeping it for myself 🙂

  7. I have been greatly enjoying all this discussions of voids. The fecundity of an empty space. Give most people a blank canvas and it is the human condition to want to fill it and create in some way shape or form. They used to talk about the tabula rasa. Alex Pope rocked on this subject (of course a little learning though is dangerous thing!):

    “How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
    The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
    Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
    Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;”

    So I’m off to try to find a bit of eternal sunshine, well, seven hours – off to bed!

  8. I’ll be occupying my own void shortly too, that’s if I can get into it before the dog does… x

  9. There’s nothing you can say today that doesn’t put me in mind of iiconic modern art.

  10. iconic *

  11. I never noticed that blue carpet before. It’s not quite Matisse Blue is it?

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