As well as showing our collages and assemblages, we will be screening our films, La Femme Automatique, La Femme (Re)trouvée‘ and The Dream Key (eclipse), which will form part of the film programme featuring films by Jean Bonnin, Neil Coombs and Ian Walker. A short introduction to surrealism and film will accompany the screenings, followed by a Q&A with the directors. There will also be poetry readings by Darren and other members of the Welsh tribe.
All of the collages that Darren and I are exhibiting can be purchased as digital prints from our Etsy shop, A Labour of Mad Love. We will also be selling original hand made postcards, greetings cards and prints on the day.
A Labour of Mad Love features the collaborative artworks of Taya and Darren. We enjoy experimenting with found objects and images to create visually striking juxtapositions through chance encounters.
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Once Upon A Tomorrow…/Un Tro Yfory… Surrealism in Wales 2023
Surrealerpool, the Liverpool Surrealist group, organised a public happening ‘The Lost Plot’ on Friday 9th February 2023. This was a vibrant and thoroughly ‘pataphysical manifestation of the Surrealerpool group. We hope there will be many more.
Doug Campbell attended as a representative of La Sirena, and is entirely responsible for the ‘in the moment’ quality of the photos below. We hope they give a flavour of the event.
Collective performance of the Surrealerpool manifesto
Further inspirational readings
The audience is rapt!
Climactic ritual sacrifice of the Lost Plot piñata
The website of the Surrealerpool group, is linked below. Their numerous publications are uniformly excellent and warmly recommended.
Taya King: La Sirena Surrealist Group participated in the International Exhibition of Surrealism by submitting collective poetry texts, artworks, and films, which was followed by their physical representation as a group at the exhibition in Cairo (February 2022). This historically significant event also marked the first time that all members of La Sirena have met each other since the group’s virtual inception the previous year, during lockdown. I was particularly proud to present my two films, La Femme Automatiqueand La Femme (Re)trouvée (2021), at the exhibition.
Darren Thomas: Being part of this great exhibition, in Cairo has been a truly special experience. As well as showing several of my collages and photographs, I screened the third film in my trilogy The Dream Key (eclipse) and performed my poetry. But my abiding memory is the collective and international nature of this meeting of hearts and minds from the surrealist community, offering a wonderful opportunity to meet old and new comrades alike from so many countries and different cultures and take part in a collective dialogue and group activities – the poetry made by all!
Doug Campbell: I had been excited to see the rebirth of Egyptian surrealism over the last few years, and was thrilled to be invited to Cairo to participate in the exhibition. Despite the many challenges faced by the organisers, the event more than lived up to expectations. A meeting of minds in a magical space, and as such, perhaps necessarily challenging. For me, those challenges were a reason to get out there and get involved, not a reason to stay at home. I’m so glad I did, and I’m sure the contacts made and the energy generated will lead to many further adventures.
Daina Kopp: I was over the moon to come to Cairo for such a monumental surrealist exhibit. As a polyglot, I was in my element to be surrounded by artists and creators of all kinds from 28 countries and 4 continents who flew in. It was an honor and a pleasure to submit artwork and perform with my surrealist dream-inspired band, Hypnagogic Telegram. It was enchanting to meet with my fellow sirens from La Sirena and I look forward to further collaborations with the artists who contributed to this amazing historical exhibit. An ancient country hosting the next chapter of surrealism. Bravo!
We are excited to announce that La Sirena Surrealist Group will be taking part in the ISSS Surrealisms 2021 Worldwide Virtual Conference Event, where we will be presenting a pre-recorded roundtable entitled, ‘Poetry Made by All: Collective Surrealist Activity and Surrealist Practice as Research‘, chaired by our very own Dr. Darren Thomas.
The proposal is for a pre-recorded roundtable discussion (30-60 minutes) of the importance of collective surrealist activity and surrealist practice as research, with members of La Sirena surrealist group. We will consider the above in relation to past and current surrealist groups, including our own, focusing in particular on some of our recent films, games, poems, collages and assemblages and explore how each project was created and how it has contributed to and enriched our ongoing research.
It is our view that the artistic activities, such as films, paintings, collages, objects and so on, associated with surrealism are not seen as separate, different or special from its other activities but as evidence or residue of an ongoing process, documenting the surrealists’ experiments and investigations – as forms of research, ultimately connected to a much wider political, philosophical and ultimately revolutionary programme, immortalised by Rimbaud’s ‘Change life’ and Marx’s ‘Transform the world’. In this sense it is argued that surrealists past and present have created/utilised an array of media (as research) in pursuit of their investigations, in the hope of enlarging, and transforming their own (as well as the reader’s) vision of reality.
We will utilise the results of an enquiry, sent to other surrealist groups and members of the ISSS, prior to the roundtable, considering the importance of collective surrealist activity. Above all, we believe that collective activity is crucial for surrealism, and the notion of surrealism as a community of artist-researchers rather than an artistic school has gained more credence in recent discussions of surrealism.
Daina Kopp gives presentations on Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction (both Human and Animal), Male Contraception, Cross Cultural Analysis of Gender, and Sexuality in SciFi and Fiction. This free Zoom presentation on “How Lewis Carroll’s Heroine Inspired Female* Characters in Cinema, Gaming and Literature” will be hosted by the Lewis Carroll Society UK.
How Lewis Carroll’s Heroine Inspired Female Characters in Cinema, Gaming and Literature
A talk by Daina Almario-Kopp
The character of Alice was ground-breaking not only because, in both Wonderland and Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll broke with the tradition of morality tales in children’s literature, but also because his heroine was not a passive little girl but a powerful independent-minded female protagonist. This presentation will focus on other female protagonists who followed in the footsteps of Alice; they went off on their own adventures, didn’t need to be rescued, and succeeded in their quests by using their own ingenuity, by using their ingenuity, determination and perseverance. Literary examples include but are not limited to: Momo (Michael Ende), Matilda (Roald Dahl), Coraline (Neil Gaiman) and Pippi Longstockings (Astrid Lindgren). Films include: Lara Croft (the film and video game of the same name), Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), Ridley (Aliens), Asoka (Star Wars; The Clone Wars), and Hermione (Harry Potter).
Daina Almario-Kopp is a scientist, polyglot, public speaker, and translator who speaks six languages. Daina has degrees in Gender Studies and Psychology from University of Illinois Chicago and in Theatre Costuming and Biology from Columbia College Chicago. She was Visiting Researcher (studying the behaviour of naked mole-rats) in the Biology department at Queen Mary University of London but most of her research is in human gender dynamics and reproductive behaviour. She is a long-time member of both the Lewis Carroll Society and the Lewis Carroll Society of North America.
7pm (GMT) 29 October 2021 (online)
This presentation will be recorded and the link to the recording will be posted here when it is available.