Well! Here is a bit of a conundrum for you.


What is a hole? Is it a thing or a nothing? I’ve been thinking about this for a while and these are my conclusions  ….

A hole is just a space – an immaterial emptiness that is surrounded by a physical material that describes its shape and allows us to see nothing. The material around the hole makes visible the invisible. We name holes and can describe their physical qualities. They can be a hollow or an opening, a cave, a pocket, a perforation, a slit, a crack. They can be large or small, single or numerous, high up or low down. Therefore if we can identify them maybe a hole is something.


Pierced into a piece of cloth a hole lets light and air through and reveals what is behind but can the space within be called a mark? The space/negative space/emptiness is, I believe, as important as the surrounding material that describes its shape; neither takes precedence over the other and each is a mark in its own right.


To me the nothingness should describe silence. Kandinsky described the colour white as ‘having the harmony of silence’, so, are holes pierced into white cloth silence on silence? It seems to me that the holes are disturbances in the silence, they denote sounds – they are soundmarks. But if the hole and the surrounding cloth are equally important then both the space within the hole and the material itself become the mark. The soundmarks can switch from one to the other but it is the surrounding material that forms and shapes their quality.

Any other thoughts are most welcome ….

8 thoughts on “Holes

  1. Angela Meecham

    For me a hole is like a limited definition of something that is no longer there. So a hole is like a memory of something, in terms of sound, maybe like an echo. Interesting thoughts you have provoked! One step beyond the three d pebble, two dimensional pebble shape outline/hole, progressing to the thought or memory in the head, the tune remembered and replayed by whistling or humming.

    1. debbielyddon Post author

      Hi Angela,
      An echo is just a sound being repeated and re-repeated probably changing each time so multiple holes could week be echoes …. I also like the idea of a remembered tune being whistled or hummed. Again a representation of something in a different form. thanks!

    1. debbielyddon Post author

      Hi Penny,

      Yes hole nothingness is an interesting idea. I hadn’t thought of the concept of Nirvana – peace, stillness is what comes to mind but I’ll definitely do a bit more research. Thanks!

  2. Helen Terry

    So interesting! For me the notion of a hole as an opening, a doorway, a threshold is the most enticing. The idea of it as something that can be passed through or that could let something in and the change that might result. It seems to me that a completely blank surface can signify emptiness – or silence – and that a hole is a kind of “event” – or sound – that draws attention. I am no physicist but isn’t there something about the way a hole breaks or distorts a surface and becomes a focus of energy? I’m thinking of water or light pouring through. In that respect the hole becomes the place where everything is happening rather than a nothingness.

    1. debbielyddon Post author

      Hi Helen,

      I love the idea of a hole being the focus of energy – of being the
      place where everything happens. I suppose that if a surface is ruptured, the way in which it is done ( forcefully, gently etc) will show on the material surrounding the hole ….


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