Stone eye

surrealism in contemporary art - giant stone eye

Stone eye
Ink, gouache, digital. July 2018

A sketch of a gigantic stone eye resting on the ground. A mysterious pipe-like cylinder extends upwards from the eye. A similar eye in the distance shows the pipe-like structure extending unfeasibly high into the air.
The eye and pipe bring to mind some designs of stove.
Perhaps the image is influenced by Celebes by Max Ernst, in which the rotund form was derived from a Sudanese corn bin..

Wellington boots with arms – photomontage

contemporary surrealist photomontage - wellington boots with arms emerging

Wellington boots with arms
Photomontage. June 2018

A photomontage showing arms emerging from the tops of a pair of wellington boots.
The arms are sinking down into the boots, as though the footware is devouring the owner of the arms. The theme of predatory footwear is one that I’ve explored several times over the past few decades. Another example can be seen here – shoes with teeth.
This photomontage was created while I was exploring various options for creating a sculpture that included wellington boots. I feel that these boots have a strong sculptural presence, and I’m quite surprised how under-represented they are in the field of sculpture.
The image, which I think probably falls into the category of contemporary surrealism, is meant to be both humorous and unsettling.

A surreal alignment of heads

surreal photography - strange alignment of heads

An alignment of heads
Unretouched photograph. May 2018
A photograph of two people standing in a way that makes their heads seem to merge in an unsettling and humorous way.
The bizarre, surreal effect of the photograph is enhanced by the uniform bright red background and the colour the clothing. The photograph was taken on a ferry between Oban and the Isle of Mull in Scotland, May 2018.

Dancing teapots

I like to sit down with a sketchbook every so often and draw whatever comes into my head. Objects with bird-like features are a recurring theme. These slightly surreal dancing teapots are a good example.
This is a pen, ink and watercolour sketch drawn in Cornwall, April, 2018.

Last Cigarette – a surreal found object sculpture.

Surrealist contemporary art - shoe last smoking cigarette

Last Cigarette
Shoe last, cigarette, lamp base. May 2018

A cobbler’s last with a cigarette inserted into the circular hole in the last that is designed to accommodate a handle. The last is mounted on a lamp stand.

The sculpture utilises the human tendency to pareidolia, the interpretation of shapes as human faces, to create a surreal head.
Similarly, the sculpture’s title, Last Cigarette, utilises the human tendency to reinterpret words to create puns – in this case the word ‘last’ referring to the wooden cobbler’s last, meaning that the cigarette is the last’s cigarette.

Shoes with teeth

surrealist shoes with mouths and teeth

Shoes with teeth: January 2017

A study for a surreal work composed of a pair of shoes with mouths and teeth. The teeth in this study were added digitally.
The shoes were chosen partly because the holes at the toe end give the impression of eyes.
An unsettling aspect of this concept is that it is normal for a person to put their feet into shoes – however these particular shoes look as though they would devour anything that was placed in their ‘mouths’. They are almost lying in wait for feet to be placed inside them.
This work may be interpreted as being a metaphor for the manner in which consumerism devours people (especially clothing and fashion consumerism).