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

Student interventions at West Dean Arts & Craft Festival, 2-4 June

As part of the 2017 Art and Crafts Festival, full-time Visual Arts students at West Dean College were invited to submit proposals for artworks to be displayed in the Historic House. Five works were selected to be on display during the event, the only occasion when the House is open to the public. The works include sculptures inspired by Edward James’ patronage of Leonora Carrington; his long-term friendship with George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein  (co-directors of the New York City Ballet); a plaque commemorating James’ vision of creation in the Old Dining Room in the 1930’s; a floating paper sculpture inspired by the work of René Magritte; and a kinetic sound installation exploring complex relationships between rhythm and chaos. 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

‘Line & Form’ and Open House 2016

This coming weekend sees two public events involving full-time Visual Arts students at West Dean College. The first is the annual fundraising exhibition, Line & Form, in which students present a selection of their current work for sale, including prints, paintings, sculpture and ceramics. As well as current Graduate and Postgraduate students, other contributions come from West Dean alumni and staff members. All funds raised will go toward On-Site, this year’s Summer Show taking place in July. This event is free and open to the public. Continue reading

West Dean House & the chamber’d nautilus

This Shell is the first part of a trio of site-specific sculptures exploring the sensory experience of life in West Dean House. The sense of smell and taste are the subject of this piece, planned for the Dining Room, in a space that used to be the Kitchen. The mouth and nose are here modelled on the aquiline profile of Edward James and carved into the shape of a chambered nautilus. Continue reading

‘Edward James in Mexico’ Symposium

Edward James in Mexico: History, Context, Legacy
One-day Symposium – The Old Library, Saturday 24 October 2015, 9.30am-5pm.

This event will consider the impact of Mexico upon the life and work of West Dean College founder, Edward James, from his earliest visits to the country in 1944, until his death forty years later. Papers from a variety of guest speakers will address a range of subjects, including the creation and impact of ‘Las Pozas’, Xilitla, to James’s enduring friendships with other artists associated with Mexico, such as Leonora Carrington. The event will also consider activities preceding James’s presence in Mexico, proposing precursors and associations for his later work. A unique publication relating to the theme of the event will be launched after the symposium. Continue reading