Friday, May 11, 2007

Ceiling Height?

I've always been very aware of my space and thought that space is inextricably linked with my moods and productivity. There are others who have always disagreed with me; saying you should be able to create in any space. There is truth to that, but a recent study by researchers at the Universities of British Columbia and Minnesota have linked creativity with the clearance height over your head. Rui Zhu and Joan Meyers-Levy compared the results of problem solving tests completed by various people in eight- and ten-foot ceiling rooms.

"When a person is in a high-ceiling environment, they are going to process information in a more abstract, creative fashion," said Zhu. "Those in a room with relatively lower ceilings will process in a much more concrete, detail-oriented fashion." From Robert Glenn's Twice Weekly Letter

It is thought that people in a room with high ceilings get a sense of freedom which opens the mind. In smaller spaces people will think smaller and more focused. This is very much indicative of the work I've been doing in my small studio. Time and time again artists are suggesting I work larger, but honestly the space limits me and my work being small does tend to get very detailed though I'm consciously working against that inclination.

Recently as my production of work increases and the number of students I teach grows I've been toying with the idea of renting a larger space in the near future. Though I'm not yet ready to do that now, I know it will not only help with space but also with my freedom as an artist. It's no wonder why many artists have had studios with cathedral ceilings and lots of light. My husbands reaction was that the larger space I have, simply the more stuff I will collect. Maybe there's some truth to that, but I do buy into the idea that loftier space aids freedom and openness. I think my work could use some of that.

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