Space

What is space?

Space refers to objects and the area around them. Space relates to volume, so a space has width, depth and height.

Real space

Three dimensional works like sculptures, architecture, products and jewellery exist in real space – they are real forms that occupy a real volume.

Sculpture with Colour (Oval Form) Pale Blue and Red (Barbara Hepworth, 1943) is a three dimensional sculpture that occupies real space. It has height, width and depth and takes up real volume.

Sculpture with Colour (Oval Form) Pale Blue and Red, Barbara Hepworth, 1943, wood and string, Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images
Sculpture with Colour (Oval Form) Pale Blue and Red, Barbara Hepworth, 1943, wood and string, Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images

Just because an artwork or design takes up real space doesn't mean it has to show space in a realistic way.

Teatro Olimpico and proscenium arch, Vicenza, Italy, Andrea Palladio / Vincenzo Scamozzi, 1580-85, Stock Italia / Alamy Stock Photo
Teatro Olimpico and proscenium arch, Vicenza, Italy, Andrea Palladio / Vincenzo Scamozzi, 1580-85, Stock Italia / Alamy Stock Photo

The design of the Teatro Olympico (1580-1585), a Renaissance theatre in Vicenza, Italy, plays with perspective to exaggerate the depth of the stage.

The floors are tilted, the walls are placed at converging angles and the model buildings shrink in height. This false sense of perspective makes the streets appear to stretch further into the distance than they do in reality.