Once, during a visit to an art gallery, the Australian still life painter Margaret Olley had a flash of realisation: the secret of still life painting is space. Not just the objects but the nothingness between objects. This is a secret known by Chardin and Morandi.
Olley's compositions have a decentred, unhierarchical quality. Sometimes there is no obvious centre of interest for the eye to rest upon. Because the eye does not rest on objects, the sense of space space in the painting is felt.