When we say a work of art is ‘uplifting’, what do we really mean? A photograph taken this week from a solar-powered plane invites us to reflect on how great images propel our spirits. Extending outwards along the tapering length of the aircraft’s wing, the photo’s line of vision is as aspirational as it is vertigo-inducing. By appearing to take the world under its outstretched wing, the plane is emotionally transformed into a symbol of aerial salvation. The photo’s daring above-it-all perspective calls to mind the dizzying vantage of one of the most exhilarating paintings of the 20th Century – an image that likewise sought to assuage the existential anxieties of its own age.
How a plane offers salvation