One-day Symposium at West Dean College

One-day symposium at West Dean College

Friday 26 January 2018, 11am-6pm

Reflecting the resurgence of craft and skills-based making in art over the past decade, this one-day symposium explores common ground between contemporary art and studio ceramics. Emphasising the commonalities between artist and craftsperson, the event focuses on practical, theoretical, and professional aspects of working with clay, embodied in its malleability and resistance – its plasticity.

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Curators visit the Summer Show

As part of the Professional Practice units supporting the staging of ‘Critical Paths’, the Visual Arts Summer Show 2017, the students were visited by two curators, both of whom toured the exhibition, discussing the work in detail and the art world in general. Most recently, we welcomed Anabelle Görgen, Curator at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, who was also visiting West Dean to conduct her own research in the Edward James Archive. Continue reading

Florence Peake: CASS/West Dean Residency

Florence Peake ‘The Keeners’, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and commissioned by SPACE.         Image credit Tim Bowditch.

14th May – 6th June 2017
Cass Sculpture Foundation and West Dean College
With thanks to Arts Council England.

West Dean College and Cass Sculpture Foundation are pleased to announce Florence Peake as the 2017 CASS artist-in-residence. This May, Peake will be resident at West Dean College for three weeks, making use of the incredible studio facilities, resources and technical expertise available at both the college and at CASS to create a new body of ceramic work inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s musical score The Rite of Spring. With the assistance of dancer Rosemary Lee, Florence Peake plans to choreograph a routine to be performed on a stage of raw clay. Through grabbing, pushing and pulling the clay, Rosemary will form violent eruptions on the surface to echo the dramatic score of The Rite of Spring. As a result, the surface of the clay will become an abstract documentation of this performance and a sculptural interpretation of Stravinsky’s composition. The clay stage will subsequently be divided into tiles to be fired in the wood-fired kiln at CASS. Continue reading

Visit to Amsterdam / Rotterdam

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

In March 2017 Visual Arts students, together with their peers in the School of Conservation, made a week-long visit to Amsterdam as part of a biannual extended study trip. Breaking the journey at Ghent, a number of students visited St Bavo’s Cathedral and the famous Van Eyck altarpiece, before traveling on to Amsterdam where we were based for most of the trip. Continue reading

Heallreaf 2 – Tapestries on show in West Dean and London

William Jefferies

Two years ago, the inaugural Heallreaf exhibition (pronunciation guide: Hea is pronounced ‘hare’ and reaf as ‘reff’ – the full word sounding like ‘Hare-l-reff’) of contemporary woven tapestry took place at West Dean. The exhibition was organised by recently graduated Visual Arts student, Margaret Jones, and held in the Tapestry Workshop, now part of the Edward James Studios and host to the full-time Visual Arts programmes. Continue reading

Staff and Alumni News: Visiting ‘Las Pozas’

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-09-24-33   aavs-las-pozas-beton-machineVisual Arts programme leader, Dr. David Stent, was awarded a research grant to travel to Mexico and visit ‘Las Pozas’, the extraordinary garden built by West Dean College founder, Edward James, between 1947 until 1984. From its position high in the mountains of San Luís Potosí, Xilitla looms large in the context of James’ life and work. He worked on the former coffee plantation, consisting of some 80 acres of rain forest punctuated by a series of waterfalls and natural pools – in collaboration with Plutarco Gastélum, as well as a number of expert carpenters, masons and other local workers. Continue reading