Artist Suzi Morris’ theory on “The Viral Sublime” has become even more relevant in today’s landscape following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Having studied extensively the sublime theory, and its evolution to the technological sublime (repeated experiences of awe and wonder), and the cosmic sublime, Morris produced a thesis where she uncovered a new theory called “The Viral Sublime.”
“The Viral Sublime is not designed to provide answers, but to question whether it is through the gaze of technology, medicine or science that postmodern ideas of the sublime continue to thrive,” said Dr Suzi Morris.
Through her study of viruses, art and biological science, Morris found how the sublime, a term used to describe “extraordinary experiences,” formed part of her artistic journey. Having suffered from a long-term condition called keratitis (a virus which can lead to blindness), she discovered the very nature of viruses, their impact on society and through her own experiences, she is able to express them through the paintings she creates.
After finishing her doctorate, she participated in an exclusive interview with Modern Painters that delved into how she used art to “overcome life’s challenges” and talked about her experiences with medical interventions to deal with suppressing viral keratitis, which “seeped” into her art.
With COVID-19 affecting millions around the world, Morris has a unique perspective of viruses and their impact. She is pledging to donate 50% of the proceeds of her newest creations to fund more research at Imperial College London to find a vaccine for coronavirus.