Press Release: West Dean - Internationally Renowned Professional Tapestry Studio to take part in London Art Fair

West Dean Tapestry Studio is one of the only professional Tapestry Studios in the UK and has been working with contemporary artists and designers to translate their images into woven tapestry since 1976.

At London Art Fair (22 - 26 January 2020 with Preview 21 January) the Studio will take part in PLATFORM: ​THREADING FORMS.  Taking place at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH, West Dean’s Master Weaver Designer Philip Sanderson, along with his colleagues will be translating an image The Empress of the Insects drawn by Edward James on June 22, 1983. The tapestry will be completed in 2021 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of West Dean College of Arts and Conservation (in West Sussex), founded by artist and patron Edward James and home to the Tapestry Studio.  The drawing is held in the College’s Archive.

As Philip Sanderson said: “The mutually creative dialogue between the creator of the artwork and the weaver is a joint adventure, a journey taken together.”

Recent projects include two with Eva Rothschild - The Fallowfield (purchased by the Tate) and Rings of Saturn, five tapestries with Tracey Emin and work with Martin Creed. The Hunt of the Unicorn, seven tapestries based on 15th century originals commissioned by Historic Scotland, was the biggest weaving project undertaken in the UK for 100 years and was completed in 2015.

Since weaving 23 tapestries for The Henry Moore Foundation between 1976-87, the Studio has worked with artists such as John Piper, Howard Hodgkin, Eileen Agar, Matty Grunberg, Philip Sutton, Bill Jacklin and Adrian Berg. 

Other Clients include the Houses of Parliament, The Mercers Company, The White Cube Gallery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Charterhouse.

Master Weaver Designer, Philip Sanderson also teaches at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and it is one of the few places MFA students can study Tapestry. A Foundation Diploma and short courses in Tapestry Weaving are also available with a Beginners course taking place between February 4-6, 2020.

Each Wednesday between 1.30-2pm, the Studio is open to the public - book in advance by calling 01243 818233 or 01243 811301.

Explore Categories

Editor's notes

  • 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.

    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