Sam Songailo’s complex and dynamic paintings are built from blocks of vivid colour woven into vibrant arrangements, the mass of interconnected shapes producing works that are pulsing and electric. The crowd of elements surge and stream along the surface of the canvas, tracing out paths that might depict flows of traffic through an urban building block or the colour-coded criss-crossings of an underground transport system. Songailo notes that the elements he employs – hard-edged abstraction, the use of high-contrast, often fluorescent colours – are part of a visual vocabulary we associate with futuristic stylings. They elicit thoughts of modern technologies and science fiction, looking like schemata of electric currents through a motherboard or synapses of the brain. This futuristic world is laden with associations of its own, and is one that Songailo finds “simultaneously appealing and unsettling”. He sees his representations “both as cold, confusing, hopeless visions of the future and also as places of beauty, an exotic new world to look into and imagine the possibilities”. Having studied Visual Communication at the University of South Australia and worked as a freelance graphic designer and art magazine editor, Songailo’s background is in design. As such, much of his aesthetic is influenced by design, as seen in the works’ composition and graphic qualities. Yet it is at the same time a reaction against it, an attempt to explore not only the message of the surface but the deeper truths for which that superficial expression stands. Here, the interaction of the overlaid elements and the complexity of the resulting structures represents Songailo’s world view. Believing that “experience is a complex phenomenon”, the very processes of building up the interrelated pieces echo and illustrate Songailo’s belief as to the world’s inherent complexity and interconnectedness.