The work of current Visual Arts student, Askild Winkelmann, has been chosen as the front cover image of Untold Stories One, the first in a series of annual publications featuring extracts from the debut novels-in-progress of second year students on the MA Creative Writing & Publishing programme at West Dean College. Continue reading
West Dean Tapestry Studio is pleased to announce the only open call tapestry commission in the UK for 2016. Deadline 1st September.
In the last few weeks, a number of West Dean Visual Arts alumni have been involved in events and exhibitions in the UK and beyond. Continue reading
Second year MFA student, Margaret Jones, is currently collaborating with artist Jake Abrams to produce a piece of work to be shown at the Crypt Gallery in May 2015, during London Craft Week. Such collaborations are part of a new venture between Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust and The Griffin Gallery. Continue reading
Now on show at Hauser & Wirth, New York (8th November – 21st December 2013), a work by renowned Scottish artist Martin Creed has a close connection to West Dean. ‘Work No. 1683’ was handwoven by Caron Penney at West Dean Tapestry Studio over an eight-week period in 2013. Creed’s major solo exhibition encompasses new work as well as examples representing his career over the last three decades.
This is not the first time that the West Dean Tapestry Studio has worked with a noted artist in the production of original work. The studio is renowned for its previous collaborations with figures such as Henry Moore, John Piper and Tracey Emin. A great deal of work related to tapestry and textile art practice is currently being produced and explored by contemporary artists, including the use of digital weaving technologies by artists such as Chuck Close and Grayson Perry. Creed’s commission is notable for his use of traditional handweaving techniques and the manner in which those processes inform its conception.
Caron describes ‘Work No. 1683’: “The tapestry is rendered in coloured threads sourced from the Studio’s archive, specifically from the years 1980 to 2013. A connection to indexical measurement and pre-existing systems runs through the work: at 40cm wide, the tapestry’s dimensions correspond to the width of the ‘heddles’, traditionally the width of the weaver’s shoulders. Individual weavers would often work with their own set of heddles, allowing them the freedom to make larger tapestries sitting closely alongside numerous other skilled craftsmen. Each coloured stripe is produced from a length of wool measured against the distance of the weaver’s stretch and the height of the work is dictated by the number of individual stock colours.”
Martin Creed – Work No. 1683, 2013, wool, 40 x 272 x 1 cm / 15 3/4 x 107 1/8 x 3/8 in [Photo: Ellen Page Wilson] © Martin Creed, all rights reserved
Martin Creed was born in Wakefield, England in 1968 and grew up in Glasgow. He lives and works in London and Alicudi, Italy. He has exhibited extensively worldwide and, in 2001, won the Turner Prize. Recent major solo exhibitions include the National Gallery of Canada (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL (2012); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas TX (2011); The Common Guild, Glasgow (2010); Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan (2009); and the Duveen Commission, Tate Britain, London (2008).
Last week saw the opening and Private View of ‘Finding the Unicorn – Tapestries Mythical and Modern’, an exhibition at The Fleming Collection, which runs until the first of June 2013. Over a two-day period, representatives of both the Fleming Collection and West Dean College – including Nick Benham, Neil Finch, Katharine Swailes and Caron Penney – installed over thirty pieces for the show, including work by Pat Taylor, Michael Brennand-Wood and Philip Sanderson.
The centrepiece of the exhibition, The Unicorn is Found, a large-scale tapestry (measuring 3.3 x 3.43 metres), is one of a series of woven by the West Dean Tapestry Studio in connection with Historic Scotland’s refurbishment of James V’s Royal Palace at Stirling Castle. This is the first time the tapestry has gone on public display outside Scotland.
Two lectures will be held at The Fleming Collection during the exhibition:
‘The Rebirth of a Palace: Rediscovering the Unicorn Tapestries’ by Peter Buchanan (Project Manager, Historic Scotland) and Caron Penney (Studio Director, West Dean Tapestry Studio) / Monday 29 April, 6.45– 8.00pm [Tickets: £10 (£7.50 for Friends of The Fleming Collection)]
‘The Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn: Capturing Beauty’ by Katharine Swailes (Studio Manager, West Dean Tapestry Studio) and Sue Prichard (Curator, Contemporary Textiles, Victoria & Albert Museum) / Monday 13 May, 6.45– 8.00pm [Tickets: £10 (£7.50 for Friends of The Fleming Collection)]