Salon Imaginaire - Surrealism for the 21st Century

Since October 2018, West Dean's Composer-in-Residence, Mary Hampton has been working with the College's Assistant Curator, Sarah Hughes, to curate the live music series Salon Imaginaire.

Originally conceived as a concert series celebrating the creative legacy of College founder, Edward James, Salon Imaginaire showcases some of the diverse explorative practices of different music and sound artists currently at work on the UK touring circuit.

"By giving these artists the chance to experience the unusual history and splendour of West Dean we hoped to inspire them in their own practise while bringing a broader cultural experience to residents of the local area, building a sense of community and creating a space where the power of live music might encourage conversation and the sharing of new ideas and perspectives." Mary Hampton

The 2018/19 series has included live performances by C Joynes, Mary Hampton, Collectress, Sonic Pleasure, Alasdair Roberts, David Thomas Broughton, Hamilton Yarns, Phil Minton, Bunty Looping, Jez riley French, Lisa Knapp, Laura Cannell, Leafcutter John, Diane Cluck, and Ichi.

Forthcoming concerts include Pat Thomas and Sarah Angliss on 9 May, and Serafina Steer will close this year's series in July. You can hear music from Salon Imaginaire artists on our Soundcloud page.

Thanks to Jo Higgs at for the Salon Imaginaire photography.

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Alasdair Roberts. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Alasdair Roberts
Lisa Knapp. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Lisa Knapp
Jez riley French. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Jez riley French
Bunty Looping. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Bunty Looping
Phil Minton. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Phil Minton's Feral Choir
Hamilton Yarns. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Hamilton Yarns
Laura Cannell. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Laura Cannell
Leafcutter John. Photos by Jo Higgs at
Leafcutter John


West Dean College is supported by PRS Foundation's The Open Fund.