‘Edward James in Mexico’ Symposium


Edward James in Mexico: History, Context, Legacy
One-day Symposium – The Old Library, Saturday 24 October 2015, 9.30am-5pm.

This event will consider the impact of Mexico upon the life and work of West Dean College founder, Edward James, from his earliest visits to the country in 1944, until his death forty years later. Papers from a variety of guest speakers will address a range of subjects, including the creation and impact of ‘Las Pozas’, Xilitla, to James’s enduring friendships with other artists associated with Mexico, such as Leonora Carrington. The event will also consider activities preceding James’s presence in Mexico, proposing precursors and associations for his later work. A unique publication relating to the theme of the event will be launched after the symposium. Continue reading

Aubusson Placement at West Dean Tapestry Studio

West Dean Tapestry Stuio panorama

Margaret Rawlinson is currently studying at the Lycée Professionnel Jean Jaures in Aubusson, France on the CAP Art du tapis et de la tapisserie de lisse formation. The course, which has 10 students, is designed to develop an individual’s skill in tapestry weaving and to prepare them for potential employment in a professional tapestry workshop. As part of the professional practice element of the course, Margaret was required to find a placement in a working tapestry studio. Margaret contacted West Dean to see if it was possible to spend a month working within the professional studio on a project of her own. This provided an excellent opportunity for everyone to share knowledge and ideas, as well as learning about the techniques and practices employed by different studios. Continue reading

Visual Arts Summer Show 2015

West Dean College MFA Summer Show. Sarah Heenan's Variations on a Theme Picture date: Friday July 3, 2015. Photograph by Christopher Ison © 07544044177 chris@christopherison.com www.christopherison.com
Sarah Heenan, Postgraduate Diploma
Variations on a Theme, mixed media installation
Photograph by Christopher Ison ©

Read on to see some of the work exhibited at Divergence the West Dean Visual Arts Summer Show 2015! The exhibition includes work by students graduating from the Graduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma and MFA programmes. We will be taking some of the work to London’s Brick Lane Gallery Annexe from July 16-19, so please join us for an opportunity to see excellent work by emerging artists. Continue reading

West Dean Tapestry Symposium 2015

Skill-based making in the contemporary art world
Friday 31st July 2015, 11.00-17:00

The symposium will explore the status of hand-woven tapestry within the context of contemporary art and craft practices. Focus will be placed on engaging with complex questions concerning the history and future of tapestry weaving in relation to technological advances, and a renewed interest in skill-based making in contemporary art. Continue reading

Visual Arts Summer Shows

West Dean Visual Arts Summer Shows 2015 web West Dean  Visual Arts is pleased to announce its Summer Shows 2015, to be held at the Edward James Studios at West Dean and the Brick Lane Gallery Annexe in London. The exhibitions showcase the work of fourteen students graduating from the full-time Visual Arts programmes at West Dean College, including Graduate and Postgraduate Diplomas and MFA degrees. Exhibiting students will present work developed over a year of intensive study, providing visitors with the opportunity to view original pieces from a group of newly emerging artists. The exhibitions include a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, hand-woven tapestry and textiles, printmaking, video and installation. Continue reading

Alumni News (including Pippa Blake exhibiting at West Dean)

Pippa Blake exhibition 2015PIPPA BLAKE


Pippa Blake presents an exhibition that takes inspiration from a Chichester Festival Theatre production from May 2015. Blake first thought of making work based on a theatre production several years ago, excited at the prospect of exploring the visuals, atmosphere and psychology of a play. She was subsequently invited to set up a residency at Chichester Festival Theatre during Festival 2014 and chose to focus on Pitcairn, a world premiere by Richard Bean, which charts the aftermath of the infamous mutiny on The Bounty. Continue reading

Student interventions at Open House 2015

Martina Salvin 1
Martina Salvin – Space-time (2015) Mirrors, Perspex

As part of this year’s Open House event, current full-time Visual Arts students were invited to submit proposals for artworks to be displayed during the weekend celebrations. Building upon students’ existing practices and enhancing their experience of exhibition opportunities, proposals were encouraged to be specific to West Dean House, particularly those areas along the Open House route. As well as giving students a chance to engage with the fascinating history of the Estate and the James family, especially the Surrealist connections associated with Edward James, they were also free to focus on less obvious details within the setting of the house. Through elements as diverse as an architectural feature, a view from a certain window, or an individual image on the wall, exhibitors could tap into their own historical or contemporary concerns. Continue reading