I did my first tour of the Angels of Anarchy exhibition at the weekend – had lots of people on the tour and it seemed to go well! I didn’t know a lot about Surrealism before the training for the exhibition and I now realise how different it is to other Art movements such as Romanticism, Pre-Raphaelitism and Impressionism that I usually talk about on the Highlights tours.
As I was taking the group around the exhibition, it struck me how we seem to always need answers and how the unusual and the inexplicable (a bizarre view of an interior/landscape or strange arrangement of objects in a still life) can throw us and take us out of our comfort zone. I was asked to explain Kay Sage’s Starlings, Caravans - all I could do was to share my own personal interpretation of this image and the effect it has had on me – it was great to hear others’ personal thoughts too. This was also the case for Eileen Agar’s Angels of Anarchy, which I see as something very colourful, flamboyant and intriguing whereas someone else on the tour found it very threatening and oppressive.
At the end of the tour, I felt that we had been on a very interesting Surrealist journey, which might help us to expect the unexpected and realise that everything doesn’t always have to be set in stone!