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 →
West Dean College celebrated the first glimpse of spring with a talk by Edward James’ former Head Gardener, Ivan Hicks. The event attracted artists, scholars of Surrealism, and gardeners alike, as Ivan recounted his experience of working with James and the friendship that ensued. Ivan shared images from his personal archive of correspondence that was exchanged over a period of ten years – the manifestation of two creative minds with a shared passion for horticulture, music, and wildlife. Continue reading →
West Dean College is pleased to welcome Katie Schwab as its new Artist-in-Residence. Selected as part of last autumn’s Open Call, Katie will be spending three-weeks based in the Visual Arts department, working in close proximity to full-time students. Over the next few weeks Katie will give a talk about her practice and ongoing residency project to staff, students and alumni, as well as conducting one-to-one tutorials. Continue reading →
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.
Gabriele Beveridge recently completed her residency at West Dean College, where she was based in the Visual Arts department and the Edward James Studios. The residency proved to be a very valuable time for Gabriele.
Recent Artist-in-Residence, Christine Mills, whose Tinkering with Strings project saw her developing new work in response to time spent in the workshops of the Making of Stringed Musical Instruments department at West Dean College, is currently exhibiting the latest phase of the research-driven work in New York City. Continue reading →
Florence Peake’s RITE is a layered reinterpretation of a monument in Modernism’s history: Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, composed in 1913 for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, the original performance is notorious for the riot it provoked on the first night, when theatregoers apoplectic with anger had to be forcibly removed. Peake’s take, though, has little to do with those mythological beginnings. Instead, it taps into The Rite of Spring’s vital force, lending it a renewed sense of urgency. Continue reading →