Darkness, in historical notions of the sublime, is the visceral experience of the unknown. Darkness is nature on its own terms–an intricate system at work outside of our understanding. For humanity to experience this greater concept of nature, each area of this thesis research works to recover a bigger picture of human history as it relates to ecological history. What is needed is a reintroduction to the natural world around us–to witness, simply, the awesome, unfathomable power of the wild.
This thesis supports the work titled The Dark Sublime, a series of large charcoal landscape drawings that depict the natural world in states of cataclysmic change. By exploring the common theme of darkness in American Romantic literature, Metal music, Fantasy, and Dark Ecology, The Dark Sublime offers a more complete experience of the sublime in the natural world, and in contemporary landscape art.