Surrealist Collage Making was a series of five classes at St. Margaret's House, an arts and wellbeing charity based in Bethnal Green, London. The classes delved into the surrealist movement with each class featuring one particular artist. The class started with a short history of surrealism and an introduction to the featured artist, followed by a facilitated group discussion on selected works. I then guided the class through a series of playful, expressive drawing exercises inspired by the movement and the featured artist, with 45 minutes of self-directed time for the participants to create their own collage.
An important focus of these workshops was to create a calm and safe space where people could express themselves freely. I kept time in the beginning for participants to check in with how they were feeling and introduce themselves to the group, and time at the end for us to share what we created.
Surrealism and collage
The surrealist movement was an art movement that brought individual imagination and creativity to the foreground, focusing on liberating thought, language and the expression from the limitations of rationalism. They believed that reason and rationalism were oppressive forces, and cultivated techniques of speaking, writing and art-making that allowed them to forgo conscious thought and embrace chance and the subconscious. Collage was one of the techniques surrealists used to allow their unconscious mind to express itself, as it allowed them to rapidly combine pre-existing elements and compose new symbols and narratives reflective of their internal worlds.
This class was a great way to learn more about the movement, refresh your creative practice and meet like-minded people in a community oriented space.
All skill levels were welcome and all materials provided.
The class cost £15.
FEATURED ARTISTS AND DATES
11th September - Eileen Agar
25th September - Rene Magritte
9th October - Ted Joans
23rd October - Toshiko Okanoue
6th November - Andre Breton