Press Release: Open call for maker-in-residence at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is pleased to launch an open call for applications for their 2021 Maker-in-Residence. UK-based Artist-Makers are encouraged to apply for the opportunity, which takes place between Monday, March 8 – Friday March 19, 2021. Applications for the Open Call can be submitted between Thursday, October 29 - Sunday, November 29, 2020.

Inaugurated in 2019, the Makers residency invites selected artists to work within one of the College’s workshops. Previous makers include Linda Brothwell (2019) and Alec Stevens (2020).

The residency programme provides artist-makers with full board accommodation for the two-week period. Studio space is provided, as well as access to a variety of resources and facilities, including the College Library, technical support, the Historic House and the West Dean Archive and Collection. A stipend of £500 is offered to include materials. Applications are encouraged from makers whose interests align with a variety of thematic areas related to the College’s history and current activities including, but not limited to: Architecture, Archives and Collections, Conservation, Dance, Design, Education, Horticulture, Music, Patronage, Publishing, Surrealism, Theatre, and Writing.

Resident artists and makers also enrich the creative learning environment of the College by providing support to students. This will include a presentation on their practice or research, tutorials and/or seminars, workshops and group critiques. The amount of time expected to be allocated to these activities is equivalent to two full days.

Alison Baxter, Head of School of Arts at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, commented: “The residency programme at West Dean College offers the time and place for Makers, Writers and Artists, to step away from their usual work pattern and engage with a College rich in heritage and creativity. The College is renowned as a centre of innovation and for its promotion of skills based making across a range of subjects, from creative writing and contemporary arts practice, to specialist study in tapestry weaving, ceramics, and historic craft practices including metalwork, horology and automata, furniture making, and stringed musical instrument making. Our residency artists are given the opportunity to become part of this vibrant and creative community.”

The most recent Maker-in-Residence was Alec Stevens, who after spending two weeks at the College, working alongside students in the College’s Fine Art and Furniture workshops, created a new body of work that referenced the College’s Collection and Archive. He said: “West Dean’s combination of excellent facilities, perfect staffing and a heritage that is ripe for exploring ensured I was actively encouraged to make, think and be ambitious.”

Abdollah Nafisi, who will be familiar to many from BBC Two's hugely popular TV series 'The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts' has agreed to be on the selection panel as has FdA student Emmanuelle Sibley. Abdollah Nafisi said: "I am honoured to be on the judging panel of West Dean Maker-In-Residence. This is an exciting and unique door-opening opportunity. I look forward to seeing the winning artist have time to pause, reflect and elevate their ideas to another level, as well as, exploring new work in a highly creative and connected environment."

For the 2021 Opportunity, Artist-Makers are invited to send proposals outlining how they wish to spend their time at West Dean College, what facilities they would require in order to fulfil their proposal, and an indication of any additional support. For more details of how to apply, please visit  

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has an international reputation for excellence and is a full partner of the University of Sussex. Students get to view or work with material from the College’s amazing Collection and Archive. For Conservation and Fine Art study opportunities see

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Notes to editors:

  • 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:
Telephone: 07790 732448

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


Alec Stevens, West Dean resident, 2020. Photo: Paul Samuel White
Linda Brothwell. West Dean resident, 2019. Jo Hounsome Photography
Making tools at West Dean College
Metalwork at West Dean College
Carving from the Musical Instrument Making workshop at West Dean College
Clocks and automata workshop at West Dean College
Stone carving at West Dean College
Tapestry at West Dean College