Canvas splitting is pretty hot right now. If you’re not familiar with the term, canvas splitting is where you take a single image and break it up into multiple canvases, kind of like this:
It’s a pretty cool concept. So I thought, why not apply the same principles to aquariums? Instead of having one large aquarium, why not have multiple smaller aquariums that work together to create a unique aesthetic impact? This technique has several artistic subtleties that will add some style to your living space.
1. Emphasis on Geometry
Old-fashioned stuff tends to be overly elegant with frilly patterns and intricate designs. Many modern design philosophies reject that antiquated style in favor of simple geometry and minimal art. Split canvas art promotes this modern philosophy by emphasizing geometric shapes. The pictures aren’t framed, which cuts down on the frilly patterns so often found in picture frames. You’re left with a bunch of straight lines and right angles. This makes the artwork feel more organized and intellectual.
A split-tank aquarium has the same effect. The heavy emphasis on cubes and rectangles promotes ideas of modern industry and order, but the life contained in the tank evokes feelings of rustic nature and organic chaos. Nature doesn’t divide itself into neatly-organized boxes in nature, so it provides viewers with a truly compelling visual contrast.
2. The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts
Look at the art piece below. What are the focal points on each canvas? On the left, the focal point is clearly the married couple. The red door is the centerpiece of the middle picture. The picture of the right is empty, but the white drapes in the window could be considered the focal point. Each picture has its own focal point, and together they subtly emphasize the married couple. The red door immediately draws your eyes, and the asymmetry then encourages viewers to look left instead of right. Viewers might finally look to the right, but the white drapes in the window visually echo the white wedding dress. The pictures are divided, yet united in purpose.
A split tank aquarium would allow aquascapers to explore an incredible range of design options. Each aquascape could have its own focal point — one might be overgrown and another might be relatively empty — but together they could promote a united idea.
3. Toying with Meta-Shapes
Split canvases allow artists to explore the actual shape of the artwork, such as in this art piece:
The irregular diamond-shaped configuration is symmetrical yet jarring, because it’s such an unexpected configuration for art pieces. Split aquariums could similarly explore strange shapes and encourage viewers to consider the aquascape within the context of the irregular geometry. You could, for example, have a large central aquarium flanked by two comparatively tiny aquariums.
This imbalance encourages viewers to stop and think about how the aquariums are divided. Are the two smaller aquariums less important than the larger one? What elements in the smaller aquariums echo the central aquarium? How do the two smaller aquariums mirror each other? How do they interact with the interior decoration? The pieces will work together to create a delightful visual geometric playground as viewers explore how the aquariums interact.
The design options are practically unlimited. It’s impossible to view art divorced from the surrounding context, so every aquarium that you add to a living space causes subtle changes in how viewers perceive every other art piece in the room. How would you use multiple aquariums to spice up a living space?