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 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

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

A Series of Workshops

Over the last few weeks, full-time Visual Arts students have had access to a variety of material- and technique-based workshops and seminar sessions. These have ranged from spending a few days metalworking in the college’s blacksmithing forge (marshalled by West Dean stalwart Andrew Smith); discussing the processes of translation involved in the professional Tapestry Studio’s projects with artists and designers (with Philip Sanderson showing cartoons used for the studio’s inaugural Henry Moore commission and a more recent project with Tracey Emin); a monoprinting session with Marcus Rees Roberts; a workshop on natural dyes with Penny Walsh (in which various materials and objects – wood, stone, tapestry, gesso panels, handmade papers – were dyed and over-dyed). A selection of photographs from the various sessions are below: Continue reading

Aubusson Placement at West Dean Tapestry Studio

Margaret Rawlinson is currently studying at the Lycée Professionnel Jean Jaures in Aubusson, France on the CAP Art du tapis et de la tapisserie de lisse formation. The course, which has 10 students, is designed to develop an individual’s skill in tapestry weaving and to prepare them for potential employment in a professional tapestry workshop. As part of the professional practice element of the course, Margaret was required to find a placement in a working tapestry studio. Margaret contacted West Dean to see if it was possible to spend a month working within the professional studio on a project of her own. This provided an excellent opportunity for everyone to share knowledge and ideas, as well as learning about the techniques and practices employed by different studios. Continue reading