23 April 2018

Curating Aesthetic Fantasies

Instagram is an infinite playground for anyone with imagination, wifi connection and the patience to plumb the depths of the digital world to unearth its many hidden gems. For those scrolling in search of escapism, there’s nothing like the discovery of a well-curated feed into which to fall. Enter @ __s____o, which has piqued my ocular interest with its mix of surreal artworks, pastel-hued landscapes and beguiling fashion imagery, punctuated by undulating architecture and luscious interiors.


Behind the account is Melbourne-based stylist Cat Morrison, who told me about its inception, “I just wanted to create a visual narrative from the things that inspire me; something that reflected me.” She attributes her acute visual vernacular to her daily immersion in aesthetic culture. “I curate for others and create content. I do a lot of art direction or what some people call ‘visualisation,’ which is essentially marketing to help brands form an identity online… I also do a lot of styling, of all types.”


Curator is a term bandied about with wild abandon in the media and nowhere is it more prevalent than in internet vocabulary, yet the role is something Morrison relishes. “I’m not an artist,” she explains. “I’m not talented at making things or using tools but visuals, or ‘aesthetics’, have always been a language I understood.” One of Morrison’s biggest strengths in this respect is her appetence for matching up disparate imagery to form a spellbinding dreamscape that is uniquely her own. 


The surrealist overtones of her output is something she has only just become aware of. “It’s really hard for me to look at @__s____o and actually identify what themes or genres are there. But I did recently think that it’s become — or probably always has been — my way of elevating reality, of creating a visual escape.” So does Morrison have plans to take her curatorial skills offline and out into the real world? “I would love to curate physical art someday. I really would,” she enthuses. Which is something I — and the rest of her 95K following — could easily get behind.