Meet the Artists - West Dean Summer Show 2019

The West Dean Summer Show 2019 will showcase original work by emerging artists studying for their Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts, Graduate Diploma and MFA qualifications. The free exhibition, held in the College's Edward James Studios, will display a diverse range of practices including sculpture, installation, print, painting, film, ceramics, and textiles. The Visual Arts students will also be taking a selection of their work to Artgame, a new gallery in Margate, just a short walk from Turner Contemporary.

Read on to find out more about the work by Visual Arts students studying for their Graduate Diploma, MA and MFA degrees.

Agata Bogacka

She is.
She works. She is a worker.
She works with clay.
She works with process. She trusts in process.
She uses her tools. She works with her hands.
She works with the elements. She plays with Earth, Water, Air and Fire.
She transforms. She is transformed.
She records with movements. She maps.
She is interested in humans. She is a human.
She is made of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
She creates magical objects. She puts objects into the caskets.
She looks for clues at home.
She draws lines to measure.
She collects. She selects. She changes. She hides. She seeks.
She observes. She waits. She acts.
She looks for patterns. She arranges.
She tenses. She lets go. She reflects.
She is a melancholic. She melancholiez.
She paints with smoke and star dust. She practices rituals.
She stares into memory. She remembers.
She travels around the sun. She is part of the universe.
She looks into the night sky and she waits.
She works with cosmos. She waits for meteorite to strike.
She searches ashes for stars. She dreams in metaphysical.
She searches for witnesses of the origin of the solar system.
She repeats.

Philippa Clarke

Philippa Clarke creates work in response to a particular place or location. Using materials from that locality provides her with an intense connection to place when she is working in the studio. Her work is currently concerned with the landscape of the South Downs. The contours, ancient yew forests, agricultural pastures, chalk and flint, paths and tracks, and the drama of light and weather inform her paintings.

Chalk is a hugely significant part of the South Downs geology and Clarke explores its versatility. This abundant material, poignant as a trace of once-living organisms, can be used in so many ways: as sculptural matter, as paint, texture and drawing medium. The use of chalk and other materials such as charcoal, soot, ice and ash form an ecological commentary on our material age, emphasising how society could do more with what it extracts from the earth. Clarke also seeks to capture her feelings about being in the landscape. Acknowledging the gestural clarity of the Abstract Expressionists she explores the tonality and texture of the landscape in an expressive, non-figurative way.

Sue Evans

Sue Evans wants answers to questions both universal and domestic but, like most of us, she doesn't find them.

Seeking structure, stability and clarity but finding disorder, impermanence and ambiguity, her work seeks to express the confusion and discomfort but savour the mystery by fracturing the certainties of geometry, blurring boundaries and challenging perception of scale. The limitations of what we understand, see and experience, the known and the unknown, are set side by side. Strange but familiar imagery drawn from the cosmos or the coffee cup see the ineffable jostle with the everyday.

Weaving, stitching and drawing are the processes Evans uses in her abstract language.
Two- and three-dimensional work is constructed from combinations of paper, fabric and thread in a practice that relies on repetition and accumulation of similar components. Small differences that arise from the same process of repeated action create networks that echo in intricate patterns. Minutiae and control of surface detail achieved by embroidery collapse alongside the natural tendency of fabric to slump and find its own form. Small, simple geometric shapes distorted by folding, pleating or layering are brought together to form concealed spaces and random motifs in complex structures. Resolution is thwarted.

Ruth Glasheen

walking hill forts gardens explore maps thinking Iron Age Neolithic dreaming archaeology journeys fiction adventure paths contours repetition flint walls plough lines flint arrowheads chalk tracks knapped orchard cordon train espalier yellow hawthorn windswept wind landscape larks topography views field boundaries history South Downs memories onward geology place detail imaginary lines

making lines colour adding control process manipulation building repetition on the wall off the wall weave layers construction thread dye basketry yarn elements arranging technique colour mixing shape form twisting pattern put together tension physical bend tie attach frame textile right angles fashion fabricating twine strand conceive

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Emma Hurst

As an artist deeply invested in the relations between time and body, Emma Hurst's approach to image-making happens from the inside out. Her work engages with embodied time through other forms of duality - darkness and light, passion and fragility, even the space between people and things. The work aims to blur boundaries between painting, textiles, sculpture and installation, activating the latent, emotive power of the material world. Each piece of work bears traces of its history, drawn from and responding to the world we live in.

Hurst's practice is process driven, embracing physical activity in the studio as a framework in which to explore manifestations of thought and feeling. She creates work in single editions, differentiated by the unique interactions of ink/pigment on a substrate articulated by folding. By staining pigment into fabric, allowing colour to penetrate the structure of canvas or linen, Hurst constructs geometric patterns with creases delicately recorded by the dyeing process. Layered colours of varying transparency and texture create depth, drawing the viewer further into the work.

Dennis Joroen

Dennis Joroen is a London-based artist working in sculpture (mainly stone carving) as well as painting and photographic media. Using contrasting traditional and contemporary techniques, Joroen repurposes discarded/found objects and, through an alchemical process of alteration, interaction and manipulation, transforms them into new artworks. His practice explores themes relating to metamorphosis, transformation, mutation, manipulation and remodelling.

His works are also meditations on his experience confronting HIV as it stares back like a mirror. When faced with life threatening illness one's life is thrown into chaos. The more we investigate our feelings, the more illusory the nature of matter appears - where the walls between dimensions seem thinner, like in dreams or mirages. Such meditations can help lead a healing person on a journey where what is important isn't the reality of the disease itself but the transformational power of the mind that experiences it. Joroen's work aims to capture those moments when creative insight strikes, bringing sustained reflections into light, as if from chaos it is possible to find answers that logic alone cannot.

Lester Korzilius

Lester Korzilius is both an artist and an architect. The interaction and placing of the viewer relative to the environment is a key concern in both practices, as is the bodily experience of colour, form, materiality, texture, and the tectonics of construction. Korzilius's work explores the often difficult relationship between form and colour and seeks to create a unified complementary synergy that is greater than the sum of its parts. Whilst recognising the different cultural influences that form part of our interpretation, the work strives to create a transcendent yet dynamic emotional response by reaching the core elements of perception and meaning inherent in all of us. Colour in particular is explored for its emotive content.

The role of the viewer is an essential part of the work and there is a three-way relationship between the object, the environment and the viewer. The works have a spatial complexity that requires them to be viewed from different vantage points in order to fully apprehend them. This movement adds a temporal element to the work that reinforces the bodily connection of the viewer's perception. The creation of larger-scale installations bridges the boundaries between art and architecture.

Chérie Lubbock

Embracing the history within found materials, Chérie Lubbock combines constructed elements in paper pulp, silicon, plaster and metal. Her sculptures instil a sense of fun and exist as a foil to residues of pain. Many of her pieces are delicately balanced and are deliberately fragile, referencing the tightrope we walk between sense and nonsense, desire and fear. She formulates her sculpture so that a precarious point of balance is always in question, as if any small change could bring about collapse. Brightly coloured Plasticine fragments highlight the absurdity of life.

Assemblage continues to form an essential role in Lubbock's practice, with sculpture, animation and audio being combined in installations. While figuration is hinted at, Lubbock is more concerned with articulating aspects of the human spirit which exist independent of the body. Her audio work is an exploration between the visual, the textural and the verbal. Sounds are created using sculptures as instruments - bowing, tapping, vibrating or immersing objects in water in order for them to resonate. These sounds are then played as a conversation between the sculpture and the audience. Using sound as a language, Lubbock then transcribes these conversations into animated clips creating a form of notation.

Michael Maddison

Michael Maddison had a successful career in software engineering before embarking on the development of his art practice. He works primarily in three dimensions but he also paints and works with collage. Ceramic is an important medium for him, having started working in clay, yet he has since produced work in a variety of other media, including concrete, steel, wood, paper and found materials. His practice incorporates both abstract and figural elements; an important theme is the expressive representation of the human figure, especially the face and head.

Maddison's work is a reflection of his place in the world and the anxiety he believes to be an inevitable part of life. The ageing process is something all of us must live with and he expresses a personal reflection on life's arbitrary finiteness. The nature of the materials he uses: unpolished concrete, oxidised steel and broken found objects echo the effects of age and the marks life makes on us. Fear of disease and loss are evoked but there is playfulness and humour too, as there is in life.

Jane McNair

"There's delight in the making - music and dancing and FUN. I want to say like a child, but as children we're often trying to be grown up, trying to do things 'properly'. This work is not that at all. It's more like the opposite. I love that what I'm making could be considered not 'proper' art. More pipe-cleaners, that's what I say.

It's a very physical process. All the materials are gathered together and then they almost form themselves - making combinations, eye-hand arranging, following what the colours offer, shapes and flows of movement found or suggested in the same way. There are ideas but they're not imposed. It's more like in the garden, where shapes and flows are formed naturally and are encouraged, allowed to grow.

They're made of simple materials, paint and cardboard mostly. Beauty in the throwaway. Discarded, unwanted, used, aged surfaces that shine through the paint and the paint lets them be seen. The surface sings its song and the colour dances back.

Other materials join in, tissue paper like Primrose petals, pink egg-boxes, orange ribbon, a purple balloon - simple things available to everybody - a bit of glitter, a bit more glitter… mostly bits of old cardboard with paint on though. I love that: old cardboard with imagination on. It's a bit Cinderella, a little bit, 'You shall go to the Ball.'"

Rachel Smith

Coming from a background in community development and water resources engineering, Smith is interested in connections that exist between people and place, why these evolve, and how they play-out.

Smith develops drawings and textiles that are informed both by direct experience - recordings of lichen-covered granite, exposed slate cliffs and folded sandstone coastlines - as well as forms of mediated imagery, created using microscopes, drawing machines and aerial photographs. Employing slow and detailed observation, Smith combines cumulative processes to create detailed works in line, weave and stitch - producing large-scale terrains alongside small fabric studies.

Smith reflects on how we participate in and interact with our environments by grouping these elements together as installed spaces for us to experience, explore and investigate.

Emma Nicole Straw

Over the last few years, since being introduced to the practice of tapestry weaving, Emma Nicole Straw has developed fundamental technical skills to create a basis for a contemporary, experimental approach to the medium. Combining this with her fascination for water-based media - such as dye, ink, and paint - her practice is now fully engaged with the complexities of 'weaving watercolour'.

The focus on transforming the semi-random marks created by a fluid material allows Straw to exploit their unpredictability. By allowing the liquids to spread, dissolve and interlink without intervention, across both paper and fabric, her process reveals areas of colour which can be interpreted, manipulated and refined through translation into woven tapestry. Complex compositions of line and hue can be meticulously thought over and considered, resulting in a series of structured and controlled tapestries that capture both the chaos and focus on specific qualities of colour, blend, and detail.

From the smaller Dispersed Colour and Woven Watercolour series, to the much larger Brusho Prints, Straw's works use methods of staining rather than painting, dyeing rather than applying. A recent change in the setting of warp and weft has also seen the tapestries shift from a fine weave to being much larger, tactile objects. Compensating for an increase in colour area, and the types of blend used, Straw depicts subtle changes in fluidity and shade throughout each work.