The Sublime in Everyday Life

Transcription Project

For those who don´t know yet I study painting and drawing in London. Apart from these disciplines we are encouraged  to develop our creativity and  pushed to step from our comfortable zone. Every term there is a different project oriented on different aspect of art making. Last term we were working on Transcription Project. We were asked to choose an artwork which we have a strong response to.  We had to decide what interests us most about this artwork and express our response to it  by our own artwork. Our final work should have consisted of three final works: 2D, 3D and time-based work. We presented our final works in front of the audience of established artists and students of all year.  Later we are given a written assessment. I  am pleased  to share with you my final pieces along with my written speech for the presentation.

Transcription Project


As a starting point I chose a painting by J. M. W. Turner called Snow Storm (1842). This work caught my attention by the combination of terror and beauty. The painting  shows the power of nature which command respect to me.  Looking at this painting I have very strong  response – the painting makes me  feel very small, weak and unimportant.

snow storm

In the class we talked about the theory of „Sublime“ and I was  encouraged by my teacher Alison Hand to learn more about it. I understood the sublime as subjective  experiences of nature (or other external objects) that arouse both  fear, greatness and beauty.  We often feel  overwhelmed  on a primitive level.

This started to make me think about times in my life where and when I have felt this. As I was looking for  examples of true awe  I realized that I feel it every day when I go to school. My inspiration for „the everyday sublime“ became the urban environment, the big city. What makes me feel very small, weak and unimportant is the big city itself by it´s giant architecture. I find buildings such as Shard both frightening and beautiful. They seem to be so huge when you stay just below them. On the other hand our perception of these buildings strongly depends on the perspective. From the bird´s eye view these buildIngs appear   ridiculously small and fragile. I realized this importance of perspective during my flight  home.

In my 3 final pieces I show different aspects of the everyday sublime:

1) My 3D piece is a maquette  of a city.  I used various items from the household (e.g.matches, different boxes, lids and even toilet paper rolls….) which I covered with common urban colours. As a support I used a canvas which I painted in acrylics. I suggested roads,  motorways, railways, river, parks, residential and industrial areas. The idea of using such usual objects supported the “everyday sublime concept” even more.

Sublime blog

2) For my time-based piece I decided to make a video of the maquette.  My intention was to show a city from bird´s eye view and make the viewer experience sublime which comes from the combination of using usual household objects, dramatic music and I bird´s eye perspective.  To experience the sublimity the video should be ideally presented on a big screen. To see the video go to my new Youtube channel 🙂

3) My 2D piece is a series  of photos of the maquette evoking a real city. The photos shows just a section of the city, they are cropped and edited. I experimented with different effects to suggest different weather conditions (rain, sunshine, sunset,…).

Blog phoots 11 Photo project 7 Photo project1 Project photo 3 Project photo 4 Project photo 6 project photo 10 Project photo2

4) My fourth piece is one extra painting showing slightly different aspect of the everyday sublime. I will post this painting next week as an addition to my work.








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