Student Interventions during Arts & Craft Festival 2018

Each year, full-time Visual Arts students at West Dean College are invited to submit proposals for artworks to be displayed as part of the annual opening of the Historic House, part of the Arts and Craft Festival. Building upon students’ existing practices and enhancing their professional profiles, proposals are encouraged to reflect the rich heritage of West Dean and the legacy of College founder, Edward James.

This year, four exhibited works included sculpture inspired by the creation of the Edward James Archive, a performance piece informed by James’ involvement with Les Ballets 1933, a textile based on the clenched fist motif of the James Press, and a large-scale work that references West Dean’s famous Footprint Carpet. Continue reading

‘Deeds Not Words’ Banner Making Workshop

Processions 2018 (Images of Emmeline Pankhurst courtesy of the Women’s Library at London School of Economics)

‘Deeds Not Words’
Banner-Making Workshop
Saturday 26 May, 10am-5pm
The Edward James Studios
West Dean College
PO18 0RX (use Gardens Entrance)

ALL WELCOME TO DROP IN

Drawing inspiration from Suffrage banners, participants at this drop-in workshop are invited to make their own banners that engage, provoke, empower, and express the ideas, concerns and hopes of women in the 21st century. Continue reading

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.

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

Staff News: Shortlists and Exhibitions

philip-sanderson-all-different-things-2016

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. Continue reading