Outside In residency 2020

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has been running residencies for the past 10 years, offering professional artists, writers and makers the opportunity to work on site for a period of one to three weeks.

The College’s partnership with national charity Outside In was established in 2019, with the aim of supporting opportunities for artists who face barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation.

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Outside In residency opportunity 2020

Submissions are now open for artists from Outside In or artists that fit the criteria of the charity, to undertake a residency at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation.

The selected artist will be invited to respond to the College’s Historic House, Collection and Archive as part of Whose Heritage? Rethinking the West Dean Collection, a project that questions the colonial history within the Collection and asks how broader social and cultural engagement can help institutional ambitions and change. Applications are strongly encouraged from artists from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and artists who would like to explore the artefacts in the collection and the ethics around the display and interpretation of these pieces.

The week-long residency is an opportunity for an artist who is interested in the themes of this project and would like to spend time at the College, making new artwork in response to them. Artists can work in any medium including textiles, sculptures, painting, drawing, film, installation, writing and music. The residency is an opportunity for research and experimentation; therefore there is no expectation to produce a final piece of work.

The deadline for applications is Monday 3 August 2020 at 10am. Find out more and apply via Outside In here.

About ‘Whose Heritage? Rethinking the West Dean Collection’

Whose Heritage? Rethinking the West Dean Collection is a research project set up to re-evaluate how the collections are displayed throughout the Historic House. The project is initially focusing on the African Collection which contains objects from Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia. These include an Ekoi Headdress, a Sudanese drum captured at Tamai, and an expedition photo album from Sudan dating to 1882. The project aims to develop new exhibitions and interpretation that address the current neutrality in the display of related artefacts. It will actively engage members of the various communities represented in the Collection and Archive and is being conducted in consultation with heritage sector professionals. The project is actively interdisciplinary and seeks responses from areas that are currently supported by the College including arts, conservation, creative writing and making. Read more about the project.

Ekoi Headdress from South Eastern Nigeria
Frank James' Expedition album from Sudan dating to 1882.
Osman Digna's war drum. c.1880s.

Outside in: Exploring the West Dean Collection 2019

In 2019, the College’s partnership with Outside In saw them deliver a training course to artists who find it difficult to access the art world for reasons including health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. The project, called 'Step Up: Exploring Collections', worked with six artists who each took inspiration from the West Dean Collection and Archive.

During the project, each artist selected an object from the West Dean Collection and Archive which they used as a starting point to develop their research skills, creating new and innovative interpretations that use the Collection as a point of departure to explore their own ideas and concerns. Find out more about last year’s collaboration.