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Psychic Love Wave (2017)Pasted across billboards; site-specific installations sponsored by progressive councils; fire poems ablaze against dusk skylines and spiritual discourses slid surreptitiously beneath the panes of corporate ad. space: Robert Montgomery’s text artwork takes many forms. The artist has said, ‘I resent the fact that materialist ad. speak occupies such a dominant position in public space.’ Contrasting his efforts with what he sees as the almost ceaseless colonising of the mind by mercenary forces determined to posit citizens only as consumers. ‘And it’s not just on the street, a similar effect applies to TV and a lot of the media, they’re awash with a sort of newspeak that treats us as merely a number, or a vote.’ A Surrealist ethos suggests it is states of mind not technique or styles that are the real issues at stake. Art shouldn’t be a diversion but a challenge to the status quo, as the Mexican Surrealist poet Octavio Paz wrote, ‘Surrealism proposes not so much the making of poems as the transformation of men into living poems.’ For Montgomery assuming a moral, social and political responsibility, making beauty and inspiring hope is the job at hand.