Contemporary Australian Surrealist Movement presents Surrealism Now

Real, but with a twist: Chris Arnol says surrealism challenges conventional assumptions.
Real, but with a twist: Chris Arnol says surrealism challenges conventional assumptions.

A NORTH Coogee resident has jumped aboard an art movement looking to make a statement in Western Australia.

Chris Arnol is a member of the Contemporary Australian Surrealist Movement (CASM), a recently formed group aiming to ‘change the art scene in WA from the ordinary to the extraordinary’.

Mr Arnol said their signature style was realism with a twist.

‘The surrealism genre can be likened to expressing imaginative dreams,’ he said.

‘In many respects it is similar to fantasy art. In its purest form, however, artists strive to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind.

‘This is often expressed through the irrational juxtaposition of images. In short, it is unreal to look at.’

Mr Arnol, who had previously put his artistic passions on hold for a career as a firefighter, said he never tired of the style.

‘From an artist’s point of view I think it demands technical competence and radical imagination,’ he said.

‘From the audience perspective the subject of a painting is often comfortably familiar yet it challenges basic assumptions or well-held conventions through optical illusion.’

Those keen to experience what CASM has to offer will have the opportunity when the group host their debut exhibition, Surrealism Now, at Metamorphosis Art Gallery in Willetton.