A JOURNEY into art

SURREAL EYE  is a visionary art project maintained by the English fine art photographer Dominic Rouse

Masai Cool - Tanzania 1980

Masai Cool - Tanzania 1980

Press Works 1976-82

Dominic Rouse began his career as a press photographer working for local newspapers in the East of England.  After a few years he found the repetitive 'point-and-shoot' nature of the work becoming monotonous; he began to look for pastures new.  

Advertising photography appeared to offer a greater technical challenge which is exactly what he was looking for.

In 1982 he enrolled on the Vocational Photography Course in Blackpool in England's North-West and began a very happy three years immersed in the joys of the photographic processes. When he graduated in the summer of 1985 he took a portfolio of 10" x 8" hand-processed colour transparencies to London to look for work.

After spending a short time assisting various advertising photographers in the capital he decided that the big city was not to his taste and he returned the quieter surroundings of his native East Anglia where he opened his first commercial studio.

Advertising Works 1986-96

The studio was located in an old shoe factory which had been renovated by the local city council and rented out to start-up businesses at preferential rates.  The studio's work was principally commissioned by local advertising and design agencies and was mainly still-life subjects and special effects - an area in which Rouse specialised.

A large insurance company was based locally and provided many opportunities for the artist to display his interpretive skills. The studio was also commissioned to style, build and photograph dozens of room sets for an established joinery company and in 1994 Rouse photographed the first Lotus Cars Calendar featuring the classic Lotus Esprit sports car.

But all good things must come to an end. The arrival of affordable desktop publishing allowed art directors and designers to initiate much of their own imagery in Photoshop and the commissions dried up.

Another new challenge was needed.

Loaves & Fishes - Advertising Campaign 1990

Loaves & Fishes - Advertising Campaign 1990

Love Zone - Getty Images 2011

Love Zone - Getty Images 2011

Digital Works 1996-2018

Although his reaction to the arrival of the computer into the business of photography was not initially a positive one, Rouse had, by the summer of 1996, conceded defeat and bought his first digital workstation.

This provided the catalyst for a new lease of creativity as the artist explored the wonderful new opportunities for innovation afforded by the digital domain. He was a prolific contributor to the Image Bank stock library and also began work on his monumental 'Haunted by a Painter's Ghost' series which would see him travel extensively in search of the strange imagery needed to decorate his imaginative black and white works.

In 2003 he moved to Thailand and became ever more reliant on the internet to maintain his contacts with the 'real world'.   

The SURREAL EYE project is the result of his desire to bring to the art market artists whose work, like his own, is unashamedly influenced by the surrealist tradition.