Capital City Academy / Visual Literacy activities / Yemisi Blake

Surrealist Portraits

Creating surrealist portraits by incorporating household objects into images.

Materials needed:

  • Cameras
  • PowerPoint Presentation: Available here.
  • Scissors
  • Sticky Tape
  • String
  • Various household objects: cleaning cloths, sponges, bread, table clothes etc. Colourful and textured objects work well.

 

Preparation

Distribute materials on each table, students will work in pairs or small groups.

Activity

a) Lead a short discussion on surrealism in photography, highlight how surrealist photographer worked. Particular focus is on the use of everyday objects in unusual situations, juxtaposition and manipulation.

b) Students are shown the power point and discuss in pairs/ groups how they think the artist made each images and what emotions come to mind.

c) Students given a task to create a surrealist portrait by introducing everyday objects into their images. They are encourage to:

BE… imaginative.

THINK… about tone, shadow, and lines and patterns.

HAVE… fun.

d) The session ends with each group sharing their portraits with another group or to the whole class.

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Materials needed:

  • Cameras
  • PowerPoint Presentation: Available here.
  • Scissors
  • Sticky Tape
  • String
  • Various household objects: cleaning cloths, sponges, bread, table clothes etc. Colourful and textured objects work well.

 

Preparation

Distribute material on each table, students will work in pairs or small groups.

Activity

  1. Start the session with a short improvisation game. Invite two students to the front of the class and give each a colourful table cloth. Ask them to imagine the material can be any object in the whole, then to mould or shape the material into that object. (It’s good to have some prompts if the student gets stuck; blanket, scarf, towel, baby, bowl of good, umbrella etc). The class can shout out suggestions of what objects the two participants can create. You can swap the two students over when appropriate.
  2. Lead a short discussion on surrealism in photography, highlight how surrealist photographer worked. Particular focus is on the use of everyday objects in unusual situations, juxtaposition and manipulation.
  3. Students are shown the power point and discuss in pairs/ groups how they think the artist made each images and what emotions come to mind.
  4. Students given a task to create a surrealist portrait by introducing everyday objects into their images. They are encourage to:

BE… imaginative.

THINK… about tone, shadow, and lines and patterns.

HAVE… fun

The session ends with each group sharing their portraits with another group or to the whole class.

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