• Steve Dyer’s ManyMe.

FROM a man sewing his head back together after a lobotomy to a puppy flying a spaceship through the outer reaches of the solar system, Mindscapes is a glorious ode to surreal art.

The seventh exhibition by Perth’s Contemporary Australian Surrealists Movement, Mindscapes has about 40 paintings and four sculptures on show from 18 artists.

The CASM was co-founded by Jana Vodesil-Baruffi in 2014.

“I have been interested in art since childhood and the surrealism and fantasy genre fascinated me since my early 20s,” she says. 

“In 2014 I met Steve Dyer and we decided to look for more artists with similar interests in art.”

Surrealism was born in the aftermath of World War I and reached its zenith in the 1930s, when you couldn’t get away from Salvador Dali’s melting watches and ants.

From then on it seeped into all areas of popular culture with Alfred Hitchcock even recruiting Dali to create a 20-minute dream sequence for the 1945 film Spellbound. 

Vodesil-Baruffi says surrealism has a timeless appeal and still enjoys a worldwide following. 

“Surrealism is extremely popular in Europe – amazing artworks coming from the Czech Republic, Poland and all over the world,” she says.

“I believe surrealism has no time restraints as our subconscious mind, creative dreaming and symbolism are relevant to any society at any time.”

So with the world and everyday life turned on its head, do people relate more to surreal art now than they did pre-covid?

“It’s a very real possibility,” Vodesil-Baruffi says. “I know the artists definitely reacted to the global pandemic strongly in any genre. Each of us personally, as well as collectively, experience changes in the direction of our lives, so I believe people are much more willing to step outside the reality of everyday living.”

Mindscapes is at the Moores Gallery on Henry Street in Fremantle until October 31.


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