Women surrealist artists subvert the traditional landscape in different ways. Rock formations, beaches and desert sandscapes take on human characteristics. In Ithell Colquhoun’s Scylla, rocks take on the shape of a pair of thighs and in L’Esprit saint Jane Graverol transforms the female silhouette into a rocky seascape. Throughout this section images of rocks, holes, gaps and spaces in the landscape, such as Lee Miller's Portrait of Space or Eileen Agar's Rocks at Ploumenach, are represented as bodily parts and become imbued with erotic significance.
The artists depict environments which are barren, desolate and impermanent, as if in a state of transformation. This represents the nomadic lifestyle of constant travelling and moving from place to place experienced by many of the artists represented.
L’Esprit saint [The Holy Spirit] (detail), 1965
Oil on canvas
Private collection, Dilbeek, Belgium
Portrait of Space, (detail) 1937
Lee Miller Archives, England