Only when Surrealist artists scattered abroad between the two world wars did the style spread to other countries and become a touchstone for younger generations. Edith Rimmington came in contact with it in 1936 at the first international exhibition of Surrealists at the New Burlington Galleries in London; she joined the movement the following year. Rimmington drew on oneiric imagery and Freudian theories: her paintings and collages turn dreams, imagination, and exuberance into tools for redeeming even the harshest reality. Her anthropomorphic or fragmented figures inhabit crumbling or derelict structures, but have special talents, like interpreting dreams (The Oneiroscopist, 1947); they represent the possibility of granting a different meaning to any traumatic experience. The Decoy (1948) shows a flayed hand dangling down from the upper edge, surrounded by a myriad of colourful butterflies. Like the caterpillars and cocoons that have colonised its insides, they seem to ease its decomposition. The bright hues and scientific accuracy in depicting the species – which are all native to Great Britain – hint at the rebirth of the flesh, putting an optimistic slant on the horror of putrefaction. The metamorphosis Rimmington alludes to is that of nature: spectacular, resilient, decadent, and entrancing, it can blossom from the deepest human fears and repair the damage they have caused.