Six panels combine in a large drawing of blue, yellow and black threads with a white arch.

Paul Vousden – Contested Horizons Fine Art Exhibition – exhibiting artist

My work explores the relationship between the natural and the construct and why this relationship appears to be falling apart everywhere. Through drawing, painting and research my practice often investigates how utopian plans unwittingly transmute into unwanted dystopias due to their very conception being informed by the sublime madness of humanity. My work therefore questions the rationale of incessant activity and infinite progress.

This irrationality is made explicit by human history, leading me to investigate space as a physically diminishing resource, due to human population growth, which contains ever more terrifying layers of sublime meaning. Recently I have been investigating how the building of the showcase Soviet city of Magnitogorsk, in the 1930s, created a specific space informed by the sacrifice of the regional environment and the Magnetic Mountain. This unequal symbiotic relationship still informs universal notions of environment today, and shows how the irrational cult of technology creates unwitting slippages of reality and space. My latest artwork, The Angel of Magnitogorsk, symbolically references this research through the use of Hegelian negative space and visual slippage. The work seeks to question if the natural sublime is being replaced by manmade catastrophes as a contemporary source of primary sublime feeling worldwide?


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