Press Release: West Dean awards 2023 Fellowships to four women with strong connections to the College

West Dean is delighted to announce that they have awarded four new Honorary Fellowships to coincide with the end of their academic year (Saturday, July 8 &15, 2023). This is the third time that West Dean has awarded Fellowships; the Fellows, Sue Timney, Salena Godden, Joanna Moorhead and Alexandria Dauley are active supporters of the College and its Schools and eminent in their sphere.

As Francine Norris, Principal & Deputy Chief Executive, Education at West Dean commented: “We are pleased to have been able to award these Fellowships to this group of women who have made such significant contributions to our subject areas through their professional careers.”

Designer Sue Timney has worked in Britain, Europe, and Japan for over 30 years creating interior projects celebrating her own brand of exotic classicism under the TIMNEY FOWLER and SUE_TIMNEY banners. She was made a Visiting Professor and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2007, holds the Textile Institute’s Design Medal and was nominated for the Prince Philip Designer's Prize by the Royal College of Art. From 2012 – 2014, Sue was President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), and she is currently a director of BIID and has been the Chair of the Chelsea Arts Club since 2021.   

With regards to the Fellowship, she said: “I am thrilled to be awarded a Fellowship by West Dean and feel honoured to follow in the footsteps of the Edward James Story at West Dean. The inspiration his philanthropy and educational vision first gave me was what led me to visit the House, Estate and College and find out more - nearly twenty years ago. Over this time, I have watched West Dean grow and develop enormously led by a very special team of dedicated people. However, none of that first flush of excitement I had has diminished in any way. The professional contribution I have been able to offer working with West Dean over this time and subsequent role in the merger of the KLC School of Design with West Dean, is an enormous source of pride in my life.”

Salena Godden FRSL is an award-winning author, poet and broadcaster of Jamaican-mixed heritage based in London. Her debut novel Mrs Death Misses Death won the Indie Book Award for Fiction and the People’s Book Prize and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards and the Gordon Burn Prize. Film and TV rights for Mrs Death Misses Death have been optioned by Idris Elba’s production company Green Door Pictures. Godden has been shortlisted for the 4thWrite short story prize and the Ted Hughes Prize. Her work has been widely anthologised and broadcast on radio, TV and film. Her poem Pessimism Is for Lightweights is on permanent display at the People’s History Museum, Manchester. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2022. Salena was writer in residence at West Dean in 2022.

In response to receiving the Fellowship, she said: “It is a huge honour to be invited to receive an Honorary Fellowship at West Dean. This is such an inspiring place to write, to nourish ideas and art, creativity, and visions. I enjoyed a memorable time as writer-in residence at West Dean and loved exploring the beautiful grounds and gardens. I'm so grateful and so happy to be selected for this. It is an encouragement and a wonderful gift, thank you.” 

Joanna Moorhead is a journalist and author.  She writes for a wide range of major UK newspapers and magazines and is a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Observer. In 2006 Joanna discovered a relative she had not previously known, the then 89-year-old Leonora Carrington, artist and Surrealist.  Leonora was living in Mexico and Joanna travelled to meet her and spent time with her before her death in 2011.  In 2017 Joanna’s account of her friendship with Leonora (‘The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington’) was published with an account of the artist’s extraordinary and eventful life. One of the biggest friendships of Leonora’s life was Edward James and through this, Joanna got to know West Dean.  Edward was one of the most influential and important figures in Leonora’s life. Joanna has had a close association with West Dean through teaching, residencies, and commissioned writing. She has represented the College at conferences and events in Mexico. 

She said: “I’m honoured and thrilled to become a Fellow of West Dean.  The college has had an important place in my life and my heart for more than 15 years, and the Edward James Foundation supported me from the very start of my work around bringing Leonora Carrington’s art to a wider audience.  I’ve been associated with West Dean in many different capacities: for the last 13 years or so I’ve tutored writing courses there. West Dean is a haven of creativity, a place where people can immerse themselves in discovering new things about themselves.  It’s a place laced with history and beauty and art, and it’s all about empowering people, and using what’s all around to inspire and change us. I love its character, I laud its ambitions, and I cherish everything it stands for.”

Alexandria Dauley is the founder of Dauley Designs, a multi-disciplinary design practice. In 2021, Alex was awarded Black British Business Award for Senior Leader in Consumer & Luxury. She is a presenter for Channel 4's "Great Home Transformations" and her work has been featured in numerous publications. With Sophie Ashby, Alex founded "United in Design" (UiD) to address the lack of diversity in the UK Interior Design industry; specifically, the lack of representation within the black, Asian, ethnic minority lower socio-economic communities. Through partnerships with established educational programmes, industry professionals and sponsors, the intention is to provide a clear road map for increased diversity in all sectors of the industry. Through UiD, and their partners, she has supported students and young people through information, guidance, funding, work-experience, scholarships, and apprenticeships. 

About the Fellowship, she commented: “I am hugely honoured and humbled to receive the Honorary Fellowship. My design career started at KLC School of Design/West Dean so it feels like a full circle moment to now become a Fellow. My Interior design career has changed and influenced all aspects of my life for the better and I very much look forward to sharing those experiences and creating opportunities and support for others engaged in this wonderful industry of ours."

West Dean has an international reputation for excellence and is a full partner of the University of Sussex. Students benefit from fully equipped workshops, expert tutors, and lecturers as well as access to visiting artists, makers, and writers as part of the year-long Artists-in-Residence programme. There are also opportunities to view or work with material from the College’s amazing Collection and Archive. For Conservation, Craft Practice, Fine Art and Design study opportunities see

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Notes to Editors:

  • West Dean 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. 
  • West Dean is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.
  • KLC Ltd joined The Edward James Foundation in July 2021, allowing West Dean and KLC School of Design to combine operation. The move brings together two of the most prestigious and well-established providers of specialist creative education in the UK.

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Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 07790 732448

West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ