23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022) participant Alex Cerveny’s uses text and image as tools for exploring myth, history and religion.

Delve into Cerveny’s artwork Glossário dos nomes próprios (2015) to learn more about how Cerveny pushes the limits of these tools, often finding new ways of blurring the lines between the imagination and reality, the real and the unreal.

Mythological Puzzle Exercise

  1. Close your eyes. Imagine your favourite place from the perspective of a bird flying up above.

  2. Now … create a map of this place. Like the map of Australia think of all the key features. If it’s your bedroom the key features might be your favourite toy, your set of drawers, your nightlight – think about the pieces of your map that make your space unique.

  3. Once you have a clear image of your map in your mind, populate your map with imaginary and mythical creatures. Ask yourself: What kind of creatures would enjoy this place? How big are they? How do the move? What do they eat? What sound do they make?

4. Draw or paint your hyperreal map and include at least 3 mythical and imaginary creatures.

5. Now play with text! Using a sharp pen, include facts and figures about each of your mythical and imaginary creatures. Think about what your audience may be curious to know about your creatures: size, colour, what they eat, where they live … anything!

6. Once dry, turn your map over to create a hand drawn puzzle. Draw lines horizontally and vertically across the blank page to map out the puzzle pieces.

7. Using scissors cut along the lines of your puzzle to separate the pieces.

8. Place your puzzle piece in a container and give it to a friend of family member to reconstruct.

9. Document your process and share it with our Programs and Learning team at programs@biennaleofsydney.com.au or on Instagram @biennalesydney.