“I use marks, forms, colour and layering to evoke not only a particular place but how I felt in that landscape. To create an abstract impression that evokes the emotions and sensory experiences that I had when I was in the landscape.”
In 1961, American art historian Robert Rosenblum introduced the concept of “The Abstract Sublime” to characterise certain Abstract Expressionist paintings. This concept explored the intersection of abstraction and the sublime, drawing upon the historical tradition of the sublime in art and philosophy. Rosenblum argued that in contemporary art, abstraction can evoke a sense of the sublime by engaging viewers in an intense emotional and aesthetic experience. He suggested that abstract art has the potential to tap into the depths of human perception and elicit feelings of wonder, terror, and awe.
Belinda Street’s new paintings evoke a sense of dynamism, movement, and emotional intensity, which are key elements associated with the sublime. The artist’s use of bold and gestural brushstrokes, combined with her mastery of colour, creates a visual experience that transcends the representational and delves into the realm of the abstract sublime.
Street’s works have an immersive quality, with layers of paint and texture that evoke a sense of depth and complexity. This spatial depth, combined with the intensity of her colours, can create a sublime effect, where viewers are enveloped in an overwhelming and awe-inspiring experience. The works often convey a sense of the ineffable and the transcendent, with their emphasis on the emotional and sensory aspects of painting rather than on representational subject matter.
By focusing on the expressive potential of abstraction, Street’s paintings invite viewers to confront the mysterious and evoke a heightened state of contemplation and wonder.