Press Release: Creative Summer Schools to fuel your creativity and top your escape to list in 2020

If the cold weather is making you think about planning a summer break, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is the perfect place for a creative escape, and they have just announced their 2020 Summer Schools, which take place from July 24 to August 13, 2020.  Over the three week period, there will be 27 one week courses ranging from painting to photography to jewellery making, sculpture, printmaking, blacksmithing, enamelling, textiles, stone carving and making automata, all with expert tutors drawn from across the UK and further afield. Develop your painting skills working plein air in the glorious Sussex landscape or nearby sandy coastline, design and make beautiful silver jewellery to wear all year round, or learn the craft of tapestry or writing.

West Dean College is situated in the beautiful surroundings of the West Sussex countryside and there is the opportunity to stay in historic West Dean House, home to the College. Summer School students also get to have a morning taster session of another course taking place at the same time, wander freely in the beautiful gardens and 240 acre grounds as well as go to nearby Chichester to visit the nationally acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre or Pallant House Gallery. There are also yoga classes, an on-site swimming pool and tennis courts to help boost your well-being! The week ends with a celebration dinner in the State Rooms of the College.

The inspiring surroundings offer the perfect opportunity to develop your own creative language and take inspiration from the nearby environment. Create your own jewellery – an individual approach with popular jeweller Sarah Macrae encourages participants to incorporate other materials intojewellery including exotic hardwoods, shells and found objects. Exploring sculptural themes – figure, landscape, abstract with Jon Edgar offers the opportunity to explore sculptural form with clay, wire, wax, wood and carved block – taking inspiration from the reclining figure but also the South Downs. Stone carving – inspired by the landscape with Paula Haughney will allow you to create a sculpture inspired by what you see within the West Dean landscape. For Intermediate/Advanced painters, Coastal landscape painting with George Popesco will take advantage of West Dean’s proximity to the coast allowing you develop your skills through direct observation and studio practice. Watercolour – the floral extravaganza of West Dean Gardens with Christine Forbes is suitable for intermediate painters and include painting in the walled gardens of West Dean. Also for Intermediate/Advanced painters Contemporary painting – abstracting the landscape with Steve Humble encourages participants to explore the processes of abstraction. On Alice Fox’s course Mixed media art textiles – marks from the land you can discover a range of different techniques to record the landscape surrounding the College, aiming to open your eyes to what is around you and to find the potential in the ordinary. On each working day, there will be a short walk in the grounds to gather materials to use back in the studio.

There are courses for everybody (over the age of 18 years) from the complete beginner to seasoned practitioner, and under the tuition of expert professionals in their fields, you are bound to be creative. Prices are from £800, with accommodation extra.

For full details of Summer Schools please visit the website.

Bookings can be made online or by calling +44 (0)1243 818300. Gift vouchers of £10, £25, £50 or £100 can be used as full or part payment towards a short course. More details can be found here

As part of West Dean’s commitment to provide access to education in the creative arts, they offer bursaries to people who cannot afford to study on a short course. Bursaries come from West Dean’s own funds and the support of generous donations from a number of trusts and individuals. Details can be found on the website

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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:
    Email: rachel.aked@westdean.org.uk
    Telephone: 07790 732448

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