Dutch-born artist Judith Van Heeren creates surreal worlds inhabited by furred and feathered creatures lurking in airless, liminal spaces. Rendered with tight technicality, the works reference colonialist landscapes and natural history paintings while invoking the fantasy of a distant dream. Perfectly smoothed animal and plant species displaced from the ‘real’ world quietly wander within the picture frame, unsure about where – and indeed who – they are. These dreamlike worlds are at once eerie and beautiful; oppressive and idyllic, precipitating a silent tension that magnetizes us to the canvas in an attempt to reconcile and recalibrate reality. Through this, the artist hints at the wildly contradictory proximity we share with the natural world.
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