Exploring themes of consciousness, internal struggle and lucid dreaming, Hidden Imaginarium by Chantel Schott and Corrina McLaughlin at Aspire Gallery delivers a rare consistency between two very different art styles.

Chantel Schott is a Queensland-based contemporary artist, who combines unique paper-cutting techniques with collage and a delicate style she calls “impromptu ink”.

This concoction of art styles brings together truly abstract pieces, peculiar shapes and images folded over each other to develop dream-like sequences.

She developed her Hidden Imaginarium collection around the concept of lucid dreaming and the moment before you wake, when you are not quite asleep but not fully conscious. Themes of the subconscious mind interconnect with dream exploration and our waking life.

Both artists use techniques of automatic and conscious drawing that create an organic and intriguing contrast, with the final works revealing secrets and hidden parts of the inner self.

She pairs her pieces with poetry and various extracts, from the likes of Lewis Carroll and Jim Morrison.

Corrina McLaughlin is an interdisciplinary artist, working with drawing, mixed media and painting to develop unique and layered pieces that draw you in the longer you look at it. When she was initially approached to do the collection, she attempted to follow Schott’s paper-cutting style, but soon discovered she was not connecting well with the medium. Instead, she developed a fascinating collection that mixes drawings with woven string integrated into the pieces.

Jarring yet oddly beautiful drawings of thick rope span the entirety of the each piece, twisting through itself. Thin string is then woven into the piece to sit delicately on top. 

McLaughlin’s brilliance becomes more apparent when she opens up about the work and the meaning behind these seemingly simple motifs.

The collection explores the durability of imagination and reality, which can differ in strength throughout ones life. Sometimes the imagination is in full force, as strong as a the rope, but other times it is reality that overwhelms dreams. It explores restriction and release, increasingly apparent as International Women’s Day nears.

The two artists were common exhibitors at Aspire Gallery, with Schott joking that they were “a piece of the furniture” at the exhibition’s opening night.

Hidden Imaginarium allows two differing artists to explore similar concepts and deliver vastly different results, that still intertwine and connect with each other in a remarkably unique way.

Readers also enjoyed socials from Corrina McLaughlin and Chantel Schott’s previous exhibition at Aspire Gallery.