Surreal 2020 gallery
Surreal was an exhibition held in Torfaen Museum and Art Gallery
in Pontypool in 2020.
The photographs for the exhibition ‘Surreal’ were taken by the
photographer Dr Robert Organ over a period dating from the late 1990s to the
present day. The photographs are
consistent with the photographer’s long standing love of documentary
photography which has focussed on recording of people and human situations
and the environment in which they live in and shape. They are an extraction of images from the
many projects completed by the photographer which feature elements of
surprise, unexpected juxtapositions, non-sequitur and humour. They can be broadly classified into two
Group 1: Photographs of
objects, animals or people which are deliberately contrived to be surreal in
nature, e.g. a surreal
sculpture or someone dressed in a
Group 2: Photographs of
objects, animals or people where are not deliberately contrived to be surreal
in nature but become so because of their circumstance, e.g. their
arrangement, orientation, location or photographer’s composition and
perspective. The circumstance may be
created deliberately or randomly.
In addition to the main groupings, the photographs are collated into
(i) Objects showing portraits of the human
(ii) Photographs involving people.
(iii) Photographs of objects depicting
animals or real animals.
(iv) Surreal objects.
(v) Buildings and landscapes.
Two important observations can be drawn from the series. Firstly, many of photographs are figurative
in one form or another; some incorporate man himself, others incorporate
models of man. This seems to
reinforce the concept that surrealist works derive from a philosophy which
rests within the mind of man and thus man must appear to act as a reference
point, champion or idol for these works.
Secondly, many of the photographs show objects that are reflections
of real life experiences. A cognitive process by the manufacturers is
carried out to impart the surreal,
dream-like quality to their objects.
A similar cognitive process is required by the onlooker to ‘unravel’
such images which again reinforces the cerebral nature of surrealist works.
In addition to the subject matter, the photographer always gives equal
importance to the aesthetic appeal of each photograph, particularly its
composition, colour , form and perspective.
All the photographs were printed digitally using pigment inks to
ensure image permanence.
Click here or on the “Surreal 2020 gallery” on the
left hand side of the screen to see the photographs.