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Collecting nothingness

Frame nothing project.

I enjoy the way that Instagram is an ideal place to start a collection. For a person with an almost genetic need to collect and categorise it is the scrapbook element of Instagram that excites me. Those little squares waiting to be filled with something. On my artist account @jessbartlett_artist I have been collecting, along with other things, emptiness. Or to be more precise empty frames. It started with my walk to my studio. I would go past two pub signs that were no-more leaving just the frame, empty. I took a photo of each and put them on Instagram. Since then whenever I happen across an empty sign or a blank sign, I snap it for my growing collection of nothingness. Pub signs are a favourite but I like the unexpected ones, like when something has slipped, leaving an empty frame. It won’t be empty for long but in that moment the frame is left with nothing. In part it’s the idea of observing. If you are trying to find something, it means you are by default looking. I look and observe without realising it now. When going for a drive or a walk, I scan the facades of shops and houses. Not every one that is noted is documented. In a car on fast moving country lanes empty pub signs often go seen but not captured. This used to bring me sadness, I would try to note where it was, in case we could plan a stop when we were next passing through that way. Now I see them and that can be enough. Probably because I have realised that this is the best sort of collection, one with infinite possibilities. It is my own personal dialogue. I don’t know what I will do with the collection other than enjoy adding to it. What do I need to do with it other than expand it and grow it and keep following my curiosity? My curiosity with nothingness and the transitional spaces between all things. Empty frames seem to acknowledge this notion in such a poetic way, I hope you will start noticing them too.

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