‘Surrealism’ Lecture with Neil Spiler

Professor Neil Spiller dazzled and left some graphic students baffled with his work based on surrealism.  Our third week lecture was an insight to what inspires some of our successful surrealists, and the importance of personal research.

Neil made a connection between Surrealism and architecture through existing examples. He spoke about technologies impact of architecture, and the disadvantages of technologies influence. He mentioned that the lecture would be based around surrealism and will create an illusion. Some students were able to understand his method of work while others looked confused and baffled.

Neil described Andre Breton as the ‘pope of surrealism’. Andre’s first book ‘Communicating vessels’ sums up the reflective nature of space, technological and architectural space. Researching more about Andre Breton gave me inspiration to revisit this lecture as I was able to find a similarity with Breton and Spiller’s work. Both men share the importance of recording data using a series of symbols based on cultural, social and historical characters. Spiller showed us examples of his work and different symbols and characters used to support his research. He described the ‘Temple of Repose’ as a surrealist’s favourite garden. I could not understand his statement from a cultural perspective, however, the history of the garden and the structures around it prove an influential interest.

François Racine de Monville was an architect and landscape designer who completed the garden in 1785. The garden influenced architects around the world. The garden contained architectural constructions, representing different periods of history and parts of the world. Most noticed is an artificial rock, a Chinese house, a tomb, a ruined Gothic church,  a temple to the god Pan, a Tatar tent, and an ice-house in the form of a pyramid. The best-known feature was the ruined classical column, large enough to hold a residence inside.

While some struggle to find a link between what they seen and what they are shown; Neil highlights that surrealism is based on original thought and research. The purpose of your research is for everything to be different and nothing should be repeated.

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