Inspiration for your imagination inspired by Leonora Carrington – Artes 110
Leonora Carrington, born in Lancashire, England in 1917, was a leading artist in the Surrealist movement. The Surrealist movement started in France after World War I and spread around the world as artists and art works traveled along with their ideas. Dreams, deep thoughts, automatism, collage, assemblage and chance were among the methods the Surrealists used to look into the unconscious mind and awake the imagination. Early in life, Leonora learned about folk and fairy tales as well as Celtic legends from her nannies and the stories her Irish mother read to her. She received much of her early education from tutors and later was exposed to art and culture in Florence, Italy, when she attended school there. She briefly lived in New York and moved to Mexico City in 1942 where she connected with other artists that had fled Europe during World War ll, as well as Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. She lived in Mexico for the rest of her life.
- Paper – Plain white or construction paper
- Magazines, catalogs, sale circulars, junk mail and product boxes
- Scissors (to be used with adult supervision)
- Glue sticks or white glue such as Elmer’s
- Pencils, pens or markers
- Covering for your work surface
Surrealism – An art movement that incorporates an irrational mixing of elements, often disjointed, jarring and seemingly nonsensical. The ideas for this art style often come from dreams, automatism or thoughts in the subconscious part of the mind.
Collage – An art technique that pieces together different elements to create a new composition.
Automatism – An action performed unconsciously or involuntarily without intention.
Curate —to collect, select and present art using your professional or expert knowledge.
Leonora Carrington, Artes 110, c. 1942. Oil on Canvas. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; promised gift of Stanley and Pearl Goodman
Always use a protective cover for your work surface. Several layers of newspaper, brown paper or a plastic tablecloth work well. Spread out and look through the assortment of scrap materials you have gathered.
Cut out an assortment of images from the magazines, catalogs, sale-circulars, junk mail and product boxes. It is helpful to have several ready so you can play with your composition in the next step.
Select a piece of paper, any size or color, to begin your collage. On the selected paper start arranging the cut out images in a way that joins things together that you don’t expect to see together, such as a dog wearing a hat or a fish riding a bicycle.
When you have come up with a composition that you like, turn the pieces over one at a time, apply glue to the back side of the shapes and then glue the pieces in place. Allow the glue to dry.
Think of a title for your artwork and write it on a small piece of paper to be used as a label below your work. Be sure to include the artist’s name.
Make more than one collage then get permission to curate and hang your own Surrealist art exhibition at home.
Don’t forget to invite your family to the opening of the exhibit!
Variations and adaptations:
If you do not have materials to cut images from, you can print them out from the Internet or draw them yourself.
A variation of this project is to create a list of random objects and living things. Write them on small pieces of paper, fold them up and put them in a container. Pick one out and draw your selection, then pick another paper and add that selection to your first drawing. Continue picking and drawing until you are happy with your creation.
*If you have any questions about these art activities please e-mail Sue at: [email protected]. Now in her garage making art!
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