Painting and Drawing

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Visual Arts

Painting and Drawing

Students who specialise in Painting and Drawing at West Dean College are given the freedom to explore different materials and techniques, both according to individual approach and level of study. As well as being supported in developing advanced skills, students are encouraged to expand upon established practices, testing the limits of their chosen discipline. Students are also introduced to theoretical considerations regarding visual culture, aesthetics and philosophy, allowing them to develop an informed understanding of how their work relates to current and historical practice. The programme is delivered through a combination of studio work, seminars, workshops, individual and group tutorials, critical sessions and professional development, culminating in public exhibitions at West Dean and in London.

A student's perspective:
Pam Ibbotson Painting and Drawing

After leaving university, with a first class honours degree in Fine Art in the 1980s, I continued to practice as an artist, combining this with school teaching. The teaching didn’t leave me a lot of time for painting, so I welcomed the opportunity to study for the MA in Visual Arts at West Dean College, where I was able to devote myself to painting for a year in a stimulating artistic environment. It has proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. The atmosphere within the Visual Arts Department has been friendly and extremely supportive, with excellent tuition. I have had the opportunity to experiment with different techniques and feel that my painting has developed and expanded considerably, in ways I could not have predicted. I enjoyed the printmaking workshops, and produced a series of prints using varying processes. The research I have undertaken for my essays has been extremely useful and has fed into my painting. Undertaking the short courses at West Dean, with the access to a wide range of tutors, has also aided the progress I have made on the course. The surroundings at West Dean are beautiful and peaceful and I am positive this has helped my creativity and the development of my work. I will leave West Dean having made some wonderful friends and I look forward to continuing to develop my art practice, building on the knowledge and experience gained here.

Pam Ibbotson, MA Visual Arts (Painting and Drawing)

To find out more call our Academic Office + 44 (0)1243 818 291, or email us at

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West Dean College and Gardens are situated in South East England, six miles north of the historic city of Chichester and 12 miles from the south coast.

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