The Surrealism Website
Edith Rimmington (1902 - 1986)




Edith Rimmington was born in Leicester, U.K. She studied at the Brighton School of Art. In 1937 she moved from Manchester to London and was accepted enthusiastically into the circles of the London Surrealist Group. Her Eight Interpreters of the Dream of 1940, seems to draw on Dali's staged event in the diving suit at the 1936 Exhibition, for here she depicts eight diving suits propped up on sticks to dry out in the collonade of some classical villa. They are lacking their helmets, but instead are provided by eight sheep heads which lie on the lawn beside them.
She seems to have been quite taken with this diving suit image and in 1947 painted The Oneiroscopist. 'Onieroscopy' means the interpretation of dreams and she shows someone surrealistically equipped to dive deeply into the meaning of dreams. The figure in the suit has a bird's skull, which it seems unlikely would have fitted the spherical helmet.
Her Polymorphic Interior is more difficult to read. Here a human figure is trapped under a triangular table by her head (transformed into a screaming skull) which is thrust through the table and appears on a plate like a joint of meat ready to eat. In the foreground a fish walks with the aid of two feet. Various sets of spare feet are shown on shelves and in a little cupboard. This is the kind of surrealist work that continually fascinates because the content is so enigmatic that it resists a narrative interpretation.
Museum of 1951 depicts a sculptural head displayed within a glass vase. Like most classical sculpures the eyes are carved as smooth blank surfaces. The head however is covered with eyes, probably the remnants of all the people who have gazed upon this object in the museum.
Rimmington's painting career was sadly short lived, but during a decade or so she produced some wonderfully challenging surrealist paintings. She also wrote poems and poetic prose, often created through the medium of automatic writing.