The Visual Arts programmes at West Dean College provide a stimulating and supportive environment for students to develop their individual practices. Programmes are delivered through a combination of seminars, workshops, individual and group tutorials, critical sessions and self-directed research.
Students who study at West Dean are provided with:
- Generous studio space, open 7am-10pm, 7-days a week
- Weekly tutorial support with a range of tutors, as well as one-to-one tutorials with most visiting speakers
- A broad range of internationally recognised visiting artists and lecturers
- Basic materials provided by the department, including canvas, primer, plasters, clay, yarn and warp
- A professional development budget that provides financial support to visit exhibitions, conferences and symposia
- Opportunities to come into contact with a variety of established and emerging artists through the West Dean College Artist-in-Residence programme
- Exhibition opportunities in West Dean House and Grounds
- Year-round access to large and flexible exhibition spaces
- Opportunities to work with the West Dean Collection and the Edward James Cultural Archive
- Support from highly skilled and dedicated technicians
- Access to the West Dean Short Course programme, including three free courses per year. This provides additional specialist support for students in a wide range of subjects
- Access to a range of specialist facilities, including the professional Tapestry Studio and dye room, stone-carving facilities and print-room
- A unique opportunity to engage with other College departments, and access support from specialist tutors
Students will develop practical, theoretical and professional skills in relation to a variety of different materials, methods and ideas and extend their understanding of the theoretical and historical contexts for their work. Students will also develop their professional profiles through taught sessions, portfolio development and involvement in summer exhibitions at West Dean and in London. Graduating artists will be equipped with a command of their individual practices, together with a critical and reflective awareness of its relevance to contemporary arts practice.
Painting & Drawing
Students will develop advanced skills in the production of drawings and paintings, exploring various materials, techniques and approaches according to different contexts. They will be introduced to theoretical considerations regarding visual culture, aesthetics and philosophy, as well as developing a professional profile. This process will be supported by student-led seminars, individual and group tutorials, and will culminate in a public exhibition at West Dean and in London.
Sculpture students will develop a critical understanding of the relationship between site, materiality and interaction. Historical and contextual studies will deepen your understanding of the cultural and contemporary significance of objects and their environment. A contemporary conception of sculpture as an inclusive range of activities is encouraged. You will be expected to critically reflect on your studio practice, supported by a series of lectures and seminars, leading up to a public exhibition at West Dean and in London.
Tapestry & Textile Art
The Tapestry and Textile Art programme will introduce students to the four core disciplines of weaving, felt, stitch and print. Students at West Dean are encouraged to explore interdisciplinary practice, both within the field of Tapestry and Textiles and across fine art practice. You will be introduced to theoretical considerations regarding visual culture, aesthetics and philosophy, as well as developing your professional profile. This process will be supported by student-led seminars, individual and group tutorials, and will culminate in a public exhibition at West Dean and in London.