heARTbeat: Victoria Garcia’s Surrealist Vision of Patterns

ColumnSurrealism had a great effect on me because then I realized that the imagery in my mind wasn’t insanity. Surrealism to me is reality. -John Lennon

Working with ideas from the Surrealists, Rococo and Psychedelia, Victoria Garcia‘s hand drawn visions and patterns seem to draw heavily from a dreamworld, though her work’s texture, patterning and color exist in a reality we are inclined to embrace.

Hailing from Australia, Garcia is an artist who works as a textile designer, although she was recently awarded the Sir William Dobell Foundation Award for Drawing honoring her art and design installation SURROCODELIA. She spent four months drawing every day to complete the project.

Of the installation, which is an amalgam of the mentioned aesthetic movements, Garcia explains:

I am deeply inspired by the idea of the ‘Wunderkammer’ also known as ‘Cabinets of Curiosity,’ a concept which emerged in seventeenth century Europe, as people began to collect and display objects they considered to be special, unique or exotic. Sometimes referred to as the precursors of Natural History Museums, these rooms were fully immersive environments composed of objects that aimed to reflect and record the endless wonder of the world. A time before modern science had emerged, these objects were seemingly arranged in the room more for aesthetic effect rather than taxonomic reason.

I am fascinated by this period in a time where society seemed briefly suspended between the romanticism of the Wunderkammer and the dawn of modern science. I feel the word ‘SURROCODELIA’ embodies my personal Wunderkammer – the world I try to bring to life through drawing, and all the things I love and collect – natural history, art history, the Australian bushland where I grew up, pattern and drawing.

Garcia’s drawings inspire a deeper look, a questioning into our perceptions, and an appreciation for her ability to affect a world where bats, peacocks and snakes peaceably occupy our minds; psychedelics or not.


Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.