Press Release: Artist-in-Residence Programme
West Dean College announces the for its 2017-18
Artist-in-Residence programme, launching on 24th April 2017.
Artists are invited to submit proposals outlining how they wish to
spend their three-week residency at the uniquely immersive creative
arts college in West Sussex. Three residencies are available, the
first commencing in October 2017. The deadline for entries will be
at midnight on Monday 3rd July, and residencies will be publicly
announced on Monday 24th July.
Co-ordinated alongside the full-time Visual Arts programme, the residency is designed to support contemporary practitioners in developing research projects and studio-based practices. The residencies are informed by West Dean's rich history of supporting skills-based making as well as the legacy of its surrealist founder, Edward James, celebrated for his support of individual artists and avant-garde collaborations across a variety of creative fields.
Poppy Jones, who completed her residency in 2015, recalls "I had specialist advice in tapestry from master weaver Philip Sanderson and worked with several MA Book Conservation students who were happy to share their knowledge with me. These new skills together with my expanding interest in the British surrealist movement have had a lasting impact on my practice". Since her residency Poppy continues to return to West Dean as a visiting print tutor alongside exhibiting and making artwork.
West Dean College is recognised as a centre of excellence in
Conservation and Creative Arts and has outstanding facilities that
support skills-based making, such as ceramics, bookbinding,
metalwork, furniture making and horology. Applications are
encouraged from contemporary artists 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,
West Dean College has hosted Artists-In-Residence since 2002, however it is only since 2012 that the programme has been formalised to offer four, three-week residencies per year. Dr. David Stent, programme leader of Visual Arts at West Dean College, who has been working hard to develop the residency programme since 2012 emphasises that "Residencies are increasingly important in Higher Education institutions, especially in terms of how they enhance a teaching and learning environment. Full-time students benefit from having professional artists working alongside them in the studios, engaging with them both informally, in terms of being embedded in the working environment of the College, and through formal teaching sessions, talks or one-to-one tutorials."
Resident artists enrich the creative learning environment of the
College by providing support to full-time Graduate and Postgraduate
students. This often includes 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. The three-week residency programme
provides artists with full board accommodation, large and well
equipped studio space and access to a variety of resources and
facilities, including the College's technical support, the historic
House and the West Dean Archive and Collection. Emphasis is placed
on studio work and practice-based research, allowing residents to
experiment with new ideas and materials, or to consolidate an
existing body of work.
Yelena Popova who completed her residency earlier this year, commented on her time saying "beautifully located residency to relax, concentrate and produce new work. Great resources and workshops - a special one for dreamers and makers". George Charman, Artist-in-Residence from 2014 said, "The West Dean residency offers an engaged critical context, time and fantastic technical support and facilities in which to explore new directions and take creative risks".