Wanderer Above the Sea of Dreams (2016)
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Sam Taylor-Johnson, suspended in mid-air by balloons: Wanderer Above the Sea of Dreams draws on the classic motif of Taylor-Johnson’s earlier Self Portrait Suspended series, transposed here onto surreal, dream-like desert setting. Wanderer Above the Sea of Dreams continues Taylor-Johnson’s ongoing exploration of weight and gravity, and marks the prolific artist and filmmaker's first foray into photo collage. In a playful nod to the buoyant energy of the 2016 Olympic host country, the balloons bear the design of the Brazilian flag. Taylor-Johnson shot the craggy desert background on location in the US, giving an American twist to Rio’s iconic Sugarloaf Mountain.
Sam Taylor-Johnson combines elements of still and moving images, frequently exploring the tensions and entanglements arising between people in a closed environment. Often emotionally and spatially disorientating, her highly choreographed scenes bring together a cast of everyday people, close friends, models, and actors. Through highly charged scenarios, her artworks examine our shared social and psychological conditions, and the split between being and appearance.