This week saw the announcement of artists shortlisted for the third Cordis Trust Prize for Tapestry, established by Visual Arts Scotland in collaboration with the Cordis Trust. A number of West Dean College staff members were present on the shortlist, which was drawn up by a prestigious panel of selectors with specialist knowledge of woven tapestry: Fiona Mathison and Susan Mowatt, along with Miranda Harvey of the Cordis Trust, Nicky Wilson, owner of Jupiter Artland, and VAS President Robbie Bushe. The presence of so many artists with direct links to the College affirms that West Dean – represented by the full-time Visual Arts programmes, the Short Course provision and the Tapestry Studio – remains at the forefront of tapestry-related practice.
Philip Sanderson, Visual Arts Associate Tutor and Master Weaver in the West Dean Tapestry Studio, will exhibit his piece All Different Things, whilst his fellow Studio Master Weaver, Katherine Swailes, presents Crossing the Avenue. Former Visual Arts Programme Leader and long-time Short Course tutor, Patricia Taylor, is also shortlisted for her piece, Boris. All shortlisted entries will be exhibited in the Upper Galleries of the Royal Scottish Academy in December 2016, and the winning entry will be selected from the shortlisted exhibits.
Between October 2016 and January 2017, both Philip and Patricia will also be exhibiting at ‘Here and Now’, the first major curated exhibition of contemporary tapestry in England for over 20 years. Taking place at The National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, the exhibition showcases the “breadth of international talent and most innovative approaches to the medium, the show challenges the notion that tapestry is a dying craft and marks a point in time for the artform. Alongside British tapestry weavers, the exhibition features international artists from Australia, Norway, Latvia, Japan and the USA with over 20 artists represented overall.”
Here & Now has been jointly curated by Bryony Windsor, Head of Exhibitions at NCCD and Lesley Millar, Professor of Textile Culture and Director of the International Textile Research Centre at the University for the Creative Arts, UK.