Beautiful in scale yet awful in its environmental upheaval, the sky-tip peaks brusquely puncture distant horizons, their hollows glimmer with opalescent blues, scarred whites.
The Cornish china clay pits had lured me from afar, their sky-tip peaks brusquely puncturing distant horizons, remaining in my imagination for a long time. I was drawn by their elusive nature: fenced, signpost-barring, dangers of death, falling, blasts, the inability to fix them on maps. But sneaked peeks glimmered with opalescent blues, scarred whites, stoic pioneer plants. So beautifully stark, closer inspections triggered my weakness for sublime landscapes, and I yearned to enter and explore these realms.
The orb I travelled the landscape in removed me from it by insulating sound, heat, wind, while at the same time being utterly controlled by it. What I experienced was totally opposed to the gaze of the onlooker, the double subjectivity is implicit.
My work explores distance in a contemporary reading of the sublime. The anthropocene epoch and sublime both date from the beginnings of the industrial revolution when man’s distance from landscape – land sculpted for minerals or deemed barren in capitalist terms – led to a heightened awareness of the eco-aesthetics of environment. These individual projects make explicit the intertwined critical continuum of opposition and reflection, simultaneity and juxtaposition between the sublime and the anthropocene, where ‘humanity has been forced to a self-critical reflection on its place in the natural order. A neglected tool for understanding this is the sublime’ (Williston 2016).
Commissioned by OSR Projects as part The Weather Station project