AboutâFor by some innate power the true sublime uplifts our souls; we are filled with a proud exaltation and a sense of vaunting joy, just as though we had ourselves produced what we had heard.'
Longinus, âOn the Sublime'
Above The Clouds is a solo show by Peckham based artist Robert Hope-Johnstone that re-examines and redefines the term âsublime', a notion that has captured the attention of scholars, philosophers and artists in the field of aesthetics for several centuries.
Through the medium of charcoal drawing and digital composition, Rob aims to shed new light on traditional themes of the âsublime', Romanticism and the writings of Edmund Burke. Challenging the topic of the contemporary sublime, Rob uses traditional methods with the support of recent simulations for the eye, emphasising terror, awe and the power of nature. With the support of philosophical writings, religious iconography, and semiotic construction, the exhibition is a further investigation into presenting the unpresentable effects of the sublime. The work is formed with the audience in mind, intending to provoke a state of self-reflection and clarity that emulates the sublime.
The sublime's etymology derives from the Latin word sublimis, (sub meaning âup to' and limen, âa boundary or limit,'), translating to âelevated' or âlofty,'. In Edmund Burke's 1757 Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, the philosopher attached strong emotional impulses such as trepidation, terror and awe to the term in order to attempt to define an indefinable overwhelming quality beyond beauty.