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Thesis: Third Nature & The Contemporary Sublime

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  • Third Nature & The Contemporary Sublime

  • The concept of the sublime refers to an aesthetic quality of greatness that evokes
    simultaneous feelings of wonder and terror in the viewer. Historically, it is associated
    with the beauty of raw nature and its power over the individual. In my work,
    I translate this into a contemporary context, where nature does not exist separately
    from the impact of humans and industry.
    I examine my personal relationship to the urban landscape and extract moments of
    sublimity I experience in the city, when the sunlight casts a beautiful glow on gritty
    manmade structures. I am interested in the liminal spaces, where the natural world
    merges with the built environment. I weave fabric on the jacquard loom and manipulate
    photographic imagery into complex patterned surfaces, which I then handmanipulate
    to mimic the fusion of organic and structured geometries that describe a
    socially constructed nature.
    Outdated modes of thinking, social and economic structures rely on the nature/
    culture dichotomy. By creating a third nature, I confront the viewer with the reality
    that there is no returning to raw nature. My work describes the contemporary toxic
    sublime, a new form of beauty that is both captivating and terrifying.