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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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


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

Two Evening Events in April

Evening Lecture: Artist and Weavers at West Dean Tapestry Studio
Thursday 19 April, 5:30-7pm. The Old Library, West Dean College. Free*
West Dean Tapestry Studio has an international reputation for working with leading contemporary arts practitioners. Known for its strong interpretive skills and artistic vision, the studio has an outstanding portfolio including  major commissions from John Piper, Tracey Emin, Martin Creed and Henry Moore. Current Master Weaver, Philip Sanderson, will talk about how the Tapestry Studio works with artists to translate their imagery into the medium of tapestry. Continue reading