Press Release: West Dean College of Arts and Conservation launches a stand-alone Summer Show devoted to Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft Summer Show for the first time

- Showcasing the vibrancy of the programme and the variety of work, ranging from sculpture, print, painting, film, and textiles -  

This year, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation (near Chichester, West Sussex) celebrates its first stand-alone exhibition by students graduating from the Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft, a part-time programme that gives the students the flexibility to develop new and innovative work. The exhibition, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 & 17, 2022 will showcase the vibrancy of the programme and the variety of work, ranging from sculpture, print, painting, film, and textiles and is open to all between 10am – 5pm in The Edward James Studios, which can be accessed through the West Dean Gardens entrance. 

Sarah Hughes, Programme Coordinator for the Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft commented: “This year’s exhibition is part of the college’s 50th anniversary celebrations and we’re delighted to see students continuing to benefit from the patronage of the College founder, Edward James. The exhibition will be a testament to the dedication and commitment that the students have demonstrated over the past two years, and showcase new work which actively explores skills-based making within the context of contemporary fine art.” 

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is renowned for its approach to contemporary art and craft, with graduates going on to exhibit internationally. The College’s ethos of encouraging diverse interdisciplinary practice, together with its support of specialist subjects, attracts students interested in radical approaches to art and those with a strong emphasis on studio practice and making. Dedicated studios, excellent facilities, and an outstanding student/staff ratio ensure students are supported to challenge themselves and push the boundaries of contemporary practice. 

Helen Clifford-Jones had a career in media for 26 years before coming to West Dean to study, she said: “The show is a culmination of two years of discovery and progress that has offered the opportunity to be stretched; taken to the extremes of one’s comfort zones and challenging oneself to delve deeper into the unknown parts of one’s practice.” 

She continued: “I can’t deny that it’s been a hell of an adventure, it is a truly unique and thought-provoking course for those who yearn to make progress and it allows craft to intersect with fine art. Looking to the future - I am currently planning a new exhibition in 2023 with two Surrey-based artists and have recently joined Ochre - a fine art printing studio in Guildford.”

While Liz Horn, also a student on the Art and Contemporary Craft Course, noted: “My main reason for choosing West Dean was the block delivery that allowed me to work in my own studio while treating each residential block as a mini residency. All the tutors are practising artists which brings an exciting and dynamic impetus to the course and the regular tutorials have challenged my ideas and pushed me to experiment with concepts and solutions.” 

She finishes: “Showing our work in the magical space of the Sussex Barn is a wonderful conclusion to the course. Professional development is a constant element of the Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft so alongside the practical work and critical studies; our tutors have supported us while we learn the art of installing an exhibition.” 

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has an international reputation for excellence and is a full partner of the University of Sussex. For more information on study opportunities see www.westdean.ac.uk

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Notes to Editors:

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is an educational charity whose mission is to provide the highest quality education in arts and conservation. Alongside the academic provision, the College supports an annual programme of residencies designed to provide research and development opportunities to artists and writers whilst enhancing the learning environment of the College. 

  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation was founded in 1971 by the poet and Surrealist patron, Edward James, recognised by BBC Arts as the ‘the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century’.
  • The College is part of The Edward James Foundation (Charity No. 1126084), also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.  
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.


For all media enquiries please contact Rachel Aked:
Email: rachel.aked@westdean.org.uk
Telephone: 07790 732448 

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ  

Borders - digital film by Liz Horn
Borders - digital film by Liz Horn
Inside Pharma - Helen Clifford-Jones
Inside Pharma - Helen Clifford-Jones
Isobel Honeywood, Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft. Image copyright Chris Ison
Isobel Honeywood, Diploma in Art and Contemporary Craft. Image copyright Chris Ison