I am always being asked, “why black?”

I have had a love affair with black for as long as I can remember.

I think it started when I first saw Kazmir Malevich’s painting, “Black Square” (1915) when studying art at school.

This was the stand-out piece of Russian avant-garde art in its time. It was not intended to have any symbolic meaning: its purpose was rather to challenge the existing concept of art. It was the first purely abstract painting to appear in the Western world.

It is a simple black square painted on a white surface. “Black Square” threw all story telling, all figuration, and all natural imagery, out the window. It was an ultimate expression of reductionism: a declaration that all recognizable visual imagery can be pared down to the simplest possible forms, and that content is irrelevant; all that matters is feeling.

Malevich himself called his “Black Square” the “zero point” of art. It challenged everything that had come before, with its simplicity. “But it’s just an empty square”, was the public outcry at the time, to which Malevich responded, “It’s not empty, it is FULL of nothing”.