The Phantoms of Surrealism Exhibition


The Phantoms of Surrealism is a year-long project that culminated in an exhibition at Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales that ran until the 6th January 2013.

The exhibition is now on tour and is being shown at Oriel Colwyn in Colwyn Bay from 22nd March – 16th May 2013.

Exhibition Opening times:
Most weekdays from 10am – 5pm
Entrance is free. Telephone 01492 577888

The photomontage pieces that form the core of this project are built around a repeating grid of 15 rectangles into which photographs from a specific location are placed to form a playful spirit or ‘phantom’ of place. Each phantom is from a different location and each site chosen has personal resonances or relates to the history of surrealism in Britain and Europe. The works are both an interpretation of landscape and place as well as an opportunity to explore the history of the surrealist movement in Britain and how the idea of surrealism is often tied to landscape explored, not for its picturesque or romantic aspects but for its psychological and visionary resonance. Progress of the project is recorded in this blog.

In order to produce the work for this project, Neil Coombs travelled to a range of locations in the UK in order to collect a body of photographs that have been used in the construction of thePhantom pieces. The Phantom works are large scale exhibition prints. The original show at Bodelwyddan also included other collage and photographic work alongside collaborative projects, including the Alpine Phantoms and the touring exhibition of artists’ books Desire in a Book.

Progress has also been recorded on the Phantom Map