Art history

Surrealism and Edward James – art history with Joseph Jones

Ref: SWE09537

Suitable for all

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About this course

Learn how artists and thinkers associated with Surrealism attempted to unlock ideas and images from their unconscious minds, in order to depict dream worlds and hidden psychological tensions.

Course Description

Surrealism aimed to revolutionise human experience, rejecting a rational vision of life in favour of one that asserted the value of dreams and the unconscious. This course is designed to help you develop your knowledge of art history and develop your understanding of what characterises the Surrealist movement. Suitable for visual artists, writers and makers.

With access to West Dean College's famous collection of Surrealist artworks you will learn how artists and thinkers associated with this movement explored the workings of the mind and found beauty in unexpected places. You will explore how artists such as Salvador Dali, Leonora Carrington and Rene Magritte used automatic drawing or writing to unlock ideas and images from their unconscious minds, in order to depict dream worlds or hidden psychological tensions.

You will leave the course with a deeper understanding of art history and of creative processes.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • In the weeks leading up to the course, please attend exhibitions and read about 20th century art history. Where possible, make notes on Surrealism and bring them to the course.
  • Please bring writing equipment and a note book.


Joseph Jones

DACC Programme and Contextual Studies Co-ordinator

Joseph Jones is an artist and lecturer based in London and Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. He has taught at the University of the Arts London, Wimbledon College of Art, Brighton University, Falmouth University and University Centre Hastings. His academic research focuses on modern and contemporary art, investigating in particular aspects of late nineteenth and twentieth century art that relate to the emergence of modernism.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.