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 groups:
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 surreal costume.

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 sub-themes:

(i)    Objects showing portraits of the human figure.
(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.