The Women Surrealists

Ref: C3671318

Surrealism was an art movement where women artists could flourish and have great success during their working lives, but they are still largely absent from the art history books and texts. This course will introduce you to a wonderful cast of characters who painted, sculpted and took photographs that are literally fantastic - drawn from myth and the unconscious mind. The course will look in detail at the work of Frida Kahlo, Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington, Claude Cahun, Remedios Varo, and many more. The images are rich, complex and evocative and will take us on a journey of discovery about art, the mind and the struggle for women artists to claim self-expression.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

To introduce students to the art of the Women Surrealist through looking at their work and discussion.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the history and development of the Surrealist art movement
  • Have a knowledge of a range of work by surrealist women artists
  • Research an artist and give a short talk [5 - 10 minutes] about their work to the group

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You can do your research using your phone, the tutor will provide books at sessions to use, or you can research online or go to the library.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Internet access helpful but not essential - books provided.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course outline

The Women Surrealists Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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