As a cultural movement, surrealism developed in Europe towards the end of the First World War, and is best known its visual art, music and writings that offer the juxtaposition of different realities to challenge the eye and the mind.
In terms of art, those embracing the movement initially tended towards scenes and settings that could appear unnerving – or at best illogical – that could bring together the ordinary and the extraordinary, the approach intended to allow the artist’s subconscious to express itself more than their conscious processes. Thus, pieces often feature the elements of surprise and that of and non sequitur, which tend to become the focus of their art when viewed, rather the being an expression of the philosophical movement surrealism was intended to be.
However, when well executed, surrealist art brings together a balance; a joining of the natural with the non sequitur, of colour with form and the subconscious of the artist with the imagination of the observer that is captivating and extraordinary to witness.
This is absolutely the case with the art of Anja (Neobookie), who is the artist of the month for June 2021 at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated by Dido Haas. On display is the most stunning exhibition of surrealist art it has been my pleasure to witness, one that fully embraces the core principals of the movement whilst encompassing broader photographic and artistic techniques and commentary.
Through her work, Anja is able to touch on subjects in her images in a way that is entirely non-directive. Take Free Willy, Survivors, and Wrong Shipping for example, with their subtle suggestions of our relationship with the world around us.
Elsewhere might be found commentary on the human condition – life and relationships – and an embracing of technique such as fata morgana and chiaroscuro that is simply captivating. But, and at the risk of repeating myself, it is important that you do not try to directly seek meaning in these pieces – rather allow them to talk to you, a Anja herself notes:
Do not try to understand all of the images shown, but just let them affect you. Even after two rounds of wandering, are you able to discover a pattern? Is there a common theme or common thread? Crazy, crazier, craziest seems to be the only connection and thing in common in this colourful collection of ‘Anja’s Surrealism’.
So, do take the time to drop into Nitroglobus through June and let Anja’s Surrealism to whisper its words to you.
- Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (Sunshine Homestead, rated: Moderate)