This education resource introduces you to the work of Czech-Australian brothers Dušan and Voitre Marek. It can be used as a starting point in the classroom for students to learn about Surrealism, the experience of immigrating to Australia, the impact of war and the role of the curator. From their arrival in Adelaide in 1948, Dušan and Voitre set into motion a surge of new ideas and controversies that challenged the conventions of Australian art.

There are over 45 making and responding suggestions in this resource that are linked to the overarching themes within the Marek brothers' work and provide ideas that relate to the world of your students whilst they learn about Australian art history. Through this, students are invited to explore, discuss and compare their work with other artists they encounter in the Gallery's collection.

We recommend exploring the online components of this resource first, as it includes images, media files and links to other pages on the website which aren’t available in the Powerpoint version.

ArtsHub review - Surrealists at Sea, the new show at the Art Gallery of South Australia, shines a welcome spotlight on the works of brothers Dušan and Voitre Marek

The Conversation- Surrealists at Sea: Dušan and Voitre Marek finally receive their place in the pantheon of Australian surrealism by Catherine Speck

Voitre Marek, Australia, 1919 - 1999, My Gibraltar, 1948, on board the SS Charlton Sovereign, oil on board, 29.0 x 20.5 cm; d'Auvergne Boxall Bequest Fund 1996, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Estate of Voitre Marek.

Introducing Dušan and Voitre Marek

Find out more about Czech-Australian Marek brothers

Experiences of war

Learn about the impact of the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia

The voyage: immigration to Australia

Learn more about Dušan and Voitre’s journey to Australia

Dušan Marek, Australia, 1926 - 1993, Analysis of substance, 1952, Kings Cross, Sydney, oil on canvas, 36.5 x 88.2 cm; Purchased with the assistance of James Agapitos OAM and Ray Wilson OAM 2007 National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Life in Australia: Surrealism, travel & the ocean

Discover more about the brothers' long and varied life in Australia

What is Surrealism?

Explore surreal works in the permanent collection

Dušan Marek, Australia, 1926 - 1993, Karu and Kulu, 1993, Eden Hills, oil, synthetic polymer paint on plywood, 45.6 x 68.3 x 4.2 cm; Private collection, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Art Gallery of New South Wales.

A surreal adventure

Activities for your voyage into the exhibition

The Gallery’s Learning programs are supported by the Department for Education.

Art Gallery of South Australia staff Elle Freak, Kylie Neagle and Dr. Lisa Slade contributed to the development of this resource.