Ancient Depictions of The Void

As artists and humans, we want to investigate and explore everything. So how do we make a picture of “nothing”? I’ve been fascinated with “depictions of nothing” for years, especially these more ancient renditions, below.

Is this “nothing” the beginning or the end? The source or the goal? Is this nothing in us all the time, despite all the “somethings” that keep our ego-life so busy? I think, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

As Sir Ken Robinson describes in his TED talk, a little girl in a classroom was drawing and the teacher went over to investigate. “What are you drawing?” she asked, and the girl replied, “I’m drawing God.” The teacher told her that nobody knows what God looks like, and the girl responded, “They will soon.”

a.

b.

c.

d.

e.

…and one modern depiction… f.

a. The Feminine, Spacious as the Sky, by Miriam and Jose Arguelles. Northwest Coast Indian totem pole, symbolizing ceaseless generation from infinite space.
b. Ibid. Supreme Goddess as Void, India, 19th century.
c. Tantra: The Indian Cult of Ecstasy, by Philip Rawson. “Cosmic sun. Tanjore, 18th century. Wood, painted 12 in. Ajit Mookerjee, New Delhi.
d. The Ritual Art of India, by Ajit Mookerjee. “Pure consciousness, the metacosmic void. (Rajasthan, c. 18th century. Gouache on paper)
e. Ibid. Yoni with vegetation issuing from it, painted on a house-wall. (Rajasthan. Contemporary expression of traditional form)
f. Untitled (WP no. 3), by Jørund Aase Falkenberg, Acrylic on wall, ca. 5×5 m, Reconfigure, The Drawing Room, London 2008

♥ ~ Meghan Oona

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