“The Persistence of Memory” (1931) by Salvador Dali

This workshop takes children on a practical and fun initiation into Surrealist Art. They’ll enjoy a nice variety of artistic media ranging from drawing, painting, sculpture, collages to creative writing (adapted to ages from 6 years old).

Children are introduced to the major artworks of surrealist artists, such as Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Max Ernst and the French poet, André Breton, to name a few.

In the wake of the great masters of the style, children will use fun techniques to prob their vivid imagination, in order to produce creative works of surrealist inspiration.

A few words on Surrealism

Revolt and unification of opposites

“Venus total eclipse” by Man Ray (photographer)

Surrealism is a cultural movement of the 20th century. It comprise a wide range of artistic media: painting, drawing, sculpture, writing (fiction and poetry), photography, theater and cinema. The French writing and poet, André Breton was its leader. In 1924, he published the first “Manifesto of Surrealism”.

Surrealism emerged after First World War (1914-1918), which provoked a horrid human massacre in Europe. After the war, many intellectuals thought WWI demonstrated the bankruptcy  of their society’s values, notably capitalism and ” logical reasoning”.

So, Surrealist artist were outraged at society. The aspired to freedom and wanted to provoke the establishment and sought scandals. They wanted to change the way people thought and lived. They wanted to transform the world. Their goal was to reach an ideal, a supreme state, where all things opposite were reunited: past, present and future, good and bad, reason and madness, top and bottom, dream and reality, etc.

Surrealists thus sought to create a space where all things came together, where everything was harmonious. They named this space “surreality”, which is to be considered as a state “Above” reality, where reality full integrates dreams.

Rêves et psychanalyse

“Le Fils de l’homme” (1964) par René Magritte

Surrealist artists were very interest in psychoanalysis and the works of Sigmund Freud, a neurologist and psychiatrist. At the end of the 19th century, Freud invented psychoanalysis as a way to investigate how the human psyche functions, in order to understand the unconscious processes of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors.  Freud believed that the unconscious part of our mind expresses itself when we dream. However, dreams are not to be understood literally. On the contrary, one needs to grasp the symbolic meaning of images, ideas and words without applying any censorship.

To reach their ideal of “surreality”, surrealist artists interacted with their unconscious. To do so, they used automatic writing or a way of writing that excluded thinking, reasoning and simply allowed the writer to jot down on paper whatever came up to mind, associating words, image, sounds freely. Surrealists were also took great care of their dreams and the words that turned-up while they were sleeping; they recorded such experiences in notebooks and used the material in their works of art.


Love was also an essential part of Surrealism. Surrealist artists believed that love lost lead the way to “surreality”. To them, women were mediators between man and the world and that love was a state of ecstasy and creation.

Pratical information

Dates: Monday 13 to Friday 17 February 2017

Times: 14h to 17h

Duration : 3 hours including a break

Ages: recommended for children from 6 to 13 years old.

Lieu: Atelier du Square, rue François Bonivard 4 , 1201 Genève. View map.


  • CHF 295.- per child for the whole week, all materials and snacks included.
  • CHF 65.- per child per afternoon, all materials and snacks included.

Subscriptions : Please download the enrollment form here. Please complete it sign it, scan and return it to  eurydice@arts-expression.ch. Thanks.

Paiement : The enrollment of your child is only valid once you have made the payment using the e-banking details on the subscription form.

Information : Eurydice Labaki, eurydice@arts-expression.ch, +41 (0) 78 696 12 45