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, and Writing.

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".

Explore Categories

Poppy Jones, Visual Arts MFA Alumnus.
Poppy Jones, Visual Arts MFA Alumnus.
George Charman 'Artichoke House' 2014
George Charman 'Artichoke House' 2014
Lotti V Closs MFA student 2014
Lotti V Closs MFA student 2014

Notes to Editors

How to apply

Online application is available via:

Submission of a 300-word proposal outlining aims for the residency, how it will contribute to the life of the College, particularly the Visual Arts programmes, and what impact it will have on career development

  • A 200-word artist statement
  • A current CV
  • Five images of work (files no larger than 500kb)

Residencies are available for three-week blocks within the following dates:

  • Block 1: Monday 9 October - Friday 15 December 2017
  • Block 2: Tuesday 2 January 2018 to Friday 23 March 2018
  • Block 3: Monday 16 April 2018 to Friday 2 June 2018

[Applicants are invited to indicate their availability in their application, in order of preference]


Key Dates

  • Open Call Launch: Monday 24th April 2017
  • Deadline for entries: Monday 3rd July 2017
  • Residencies publicly announced: Monday 24th July 2017


  • Applicants must be 18 or over
  • Applicants must be based in the UK
  • Residencies can only be awarded to individual artists, not collaborative groups
  • This opportunity is not open to students in full-time education

Previous Artists-in-Residence:

Yelena Popova:

George Charman:

West Dean College is internationally acclaimed for excellence in conservation and creative arts education. Study options range from 700+ short courses to Foundation, Diploma or Masters Degrees. The College is an affiliated partner of the University of Sussex West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean Gardens,

West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.

For further information on the Artist-in-Residence programme please contact:

Sarah Hughes

For media enquiries please contact:

Gabriella Pampel
Golden Squared Consulting
10-11 Lower John Street, London, W1F 9EB
0207 439 2822