Lately, I’ve been having recurring dreams where I am somewhere impossible: underwater in the sky and set to sail on a sea of fire. I wake up sweat soaked and thankful the walls are intact. And yet, in that moment, I am also exhilarated and left wanting more. And while I am lying there in bed I am thinking this must be what the Romantics meant when they spoke on the sublime: to be enthralled and in awe in a state of juxtaposition. It is beauty induced by the fear, and created by the grandness of nature.
Lisa Adams, her works does this for me. It suspends me in some sort of waking dream state I never want to fully leave. There is so much dark and surreal beauty, and threaded through it is an inkling of terror. She is a self-taught oil painter. She works meticulously and methodically from her studio in Queensland, Australia. She uses several photographs (usually taken by her photographer husband) as a reference to produce her arresting images. Adams picks at some deep rooted interest I have in the bizarre and the sublime. She works in layered allegorical references that I might never entirely understand. But, I am more than happy to sit and stare and never quite figure them out. I am swallowed whole into her world.