Surrealism and art are at play with perception for these eight artists, offering alternate ways of viewing the world.

The Surrealist art movement developed in the 1920s as artists tapped into the power of the unconscious and dreams — capturing a sense of haunting and mystery. Led by iconic names such as Salvador Dalí, Andre Breton, and René Magritte, today, contemporary artists put a spin on age-old themes with modern technology, social media, and living in a time of mass information.

Daniel Anderson

Australian photographer Daniel Anderson enters alternate realities by exploring human identity, emotion and existence through his surrealist artworks. Evoking a sense of haunting, the images set a scene of disturbance as the viewer is left questioning what they see.

Judith Wright

Mirroring this, but in paintings, Brisbane-based artist Judith Wright uses her background in dance to capture surrealist imagery. Eyes often appear, taken out of context; they add to that dreamlike quality seen in the likes of the original Surrealism movement.

Kim Anderson

Australian artist Kim Anderson explores the physical expression of trauma through her artworks. She captures ‘solastalgia’ or ‘eco-anxiety’ and ‘ecological grief’ within her surrealist dreamscapes, where tree limbs and human bodies merge. 

Mark Roper

Through a metallic and shimmering palette, photographer Mark Roper manipulates and distorts a mirage of light and reflection. The viewer is left considering if they can see flesh, the folds evocative of bodies, or whether the artist is playing with perception leaving us with an unshakable feel of unpredictability and imbalance.

Julien Pacaud

Exploring a futuristic landscape through his digital collages, French artist Julien Pacaud employs bold colours and bizarre compositions with entwined figures and objects facing the universe. The works are filled with surrealist iconography to create doubt and mystery.

Hillary Herman

Surrealism artist Hillary Herman uses her fears, dreams, and 3 am insomniac musings to create paintings that reveal alternate realities. Working from her NSW Bangalow rural property, among replanted rainforest and surrounded by her chickens, the artworks bring the every day into fantasy. 

Simone Boon

Dutch-born artist Simone Boon presents a philosophy of becoming through dreamy surrealist, abstract artworks where colours dance across the surface like shadows. Living between Hong Kong and Amsterdam — east and west — Boon discovered how much perception and understanding or misunderstanding can inform our experiences of the world she sets out to capture.

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