A SLiCE of Surrealism and Unconscious Creativity

As part of Curious Mind's SLiCE initiative, Tate Liverpool and the Royal Exchange Theatre have partnered with schools across Greater Manchester and Liverpool to offer training and an insight into using cultural venues as a way to develop creative, cross-curricular learning approaches.

In March, I developed and led two training events for Key Stage 2-4 teachers who wished to explore ways to use Tate collections & exhibitions and a variety of creative techniques and activities to promote discussion, creative writing, story-telling and performance.

In response to the current Surrealist Landscapes season at Tate Liverpool, my workshop set out to promote ways to connect creative practice with dreams and the unconscious. Participants were encouraged to do warm-up activities to explore unconscious mark-making, drawing and frottage. We also spent a good chunk of the day in the galleries finding alternative ways to discuss artworks from the Tate Collection using surrealist techniques to creatively respond to artworks. Surrealist games were played to inspire fruitful discussion and personal responses which went on to rouse emotions and promote creative writing and poetry.

Having visited the current Leonora Carrington and Cathy Wilkes exhibitions, teachers were invited to make creative connections between unconsciously selected objects and artworks to tell stories and poems, which culminated in creating installations and a storyworld set in which to develop frozen tableaux and performance. 

The project continues as I join the teachers in April - May to plan and develop a lesson which will take place in schools.... 



'Chance Compositions' - video uploaded

As mentioned a few weeks ago, here's a lovely vimeo vid by Jessica Wild, which captures the 'Imagine' session we led together at Manchester Art Gallery.

Inspired by Max Ernst's 'chance' frottage collage 'Petrified City', families were invited to create random sound compositions by collaging stickers and other materials onto old vinyl records which were then played on a turntable. In addition, families also enjoyed cutting up album covers and made interesting, surreal collages. One little girl even decided to put stickers over all the men's heads on the album cover of Fame, leaving only the women's heads visible!

To see and hear the 'chance compositions', click on the link: https://vimeo.com/37909145

Also, for some rather low quality vid clips go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michikofujii/sets/72157629162585530/



'Imagine' Weekend - Surrealist Chance Compositions

It's that time of the month again and I've had a great weekend working at Manchester Art Gallery with artist and film-maker Jessica Wild on our joint venture - interpreting surrealist artwork through sound, composition and montages!

Taking Max Ernst's 'Petrified City' and other surrealist artworks in the permanent collection as the starting point, we invited families to embrace random collage-making and chance... on vinyl. Families were invited to create their own collage compositions on records which would, in turn, interfere with the way the stylus moved around the groove. Families could play the records to discover how their colourful collages created unique 'chance' sound compositions.

Families were also invited to create weird and wonderful photo-montages using the record covers to cut 'n' paste . Check out some of the cool and crazy artwork (above).

The message here is embrace the random and let your imagination wander, whilst developing a unique soundtrack for the artworks in the Modern & Contemporary gallery!

Vid clip uploads coming soon....