Cambridge School of Art

Degree Show Website

Richard Tooley
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“An uncanny effect often arises when the boundary between fantasy and reality is blurred, when we are faced with the reality of something that we have until now considered imaginary” – Freud, 1919.

My work explores uncanniness and the creation of unsettling images in the hope of provoking a reaction from the viewer. These images are from my current major project, exploring the dark and often hidden world of the dominatrix dungeon.

The colours and composition evoke the raw emotion and drama of the Baroque. Surrealist history often deals with subconscious drive and desire; the creation of dream to enhance or replace reality.

Our associations with masks can be hostile and potentially threatening, The look of a human but its doll-like proportions are quite grotesque and alienating. The mask both shields and creates identity, leaving the viewer with a feeling of unease and unknown potential.

The viewer finds him/herself in the position of voyeur observing a private performance which, despite being quite theatrical, is not intended for an audience. The work explores the issues of the private and public, drawing upon the tradition of spectator and spectacle.




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