PRESS RELEASE From inside to outside: West Dean College's new series of short courses embrace nature

- More new Creative Escape courses are introduced as well as ones focussing on Interior Design -

Continuing the success of the recently launched Creative Escapes programme, a new series of short courses is available to book online at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation near Chichester, West Sussex which will be running from June – September 2023. Creative Escapes offer the perfect opportunity for those who have commitments Monday to Friday, to get away at the weekend and learn a new skill (from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon) and improve mindfulness, reduce anxiety, and increase self-awareness.

The new Creative Escape courses range from Greenwood Spoon Carving with Sussex-based designer Annie Slack (June 10-11, 2023/£302/ Suitable for all) who will teach students skills to make a variety of spoons using untreated wood. Sustainable screenprints with natural dyes with Lara Mantell (September 16-17/ £316/ beginners/intermediate) offers the opportunity to learn to screenprint onto paper to make rich and colourful designs and use inks made from leaves, flowers, roots, and shoots using kitchen bio-waste. Also included is Interior Design – power of colour with Adrienne Chinn (June 17-18, 2023/ £390) which is suitable for beginners. Adrienne Chinn trained at KLC School of Design and has run her own interior design consultancy in London and Brighton since 1999, specialising in residential design.

Based in the stunning South Downs National Park and the home to the award-winning West Dean Gardens, there is no surprise that a variety of the new courses focus on nature and the surrounding environment. These include Expressive painting of flora with Jayne Sandys-Renton (June 21-23, 2023/suitable for all/ £289) and Painting wildlife with water-based oils with Steve Nayar (July 14 – 18, 2023/ suitable for all/ £629). Steve is an acclaimed wildlife artist with a background in design and advertising. He has facilitated workshops here and in Mauritius and cares about endangered species. A Wildlife Artist of The Year finalist for the past five years, his paintings have raised funds for numerous global wildlife conservation organisations. Elsewhere, Wild tools – making jewellery with the landscape is with Jo McAllister (July 16-18, 2023/suitable for all/ £344).

Several of the new courses for the Summer/ Autumn season are being taught by new tutors including Anna Gillespie who a figurative sculptor with some 30 years of experience (Figure Sculpting in Wax – June 2-4, 2023/ £376/ suitable for all), while Holly Parr’s Botanical French Beading incorporates various techniques such as stringing glass seed beads, wire wrapping, twisting and sculpting to create the 19th century art form (June 21-23, 2023/ £312/ beginners). Elsewhere, Pebble mosaics – traditional method with George Howarth (August 18-20, 2023/ beginners/ intermediate/ £359) and a one-day course Ash splint basket weaving on August 31, with Michelle Mateo (beginners/ intermediate/ £185). Michelle is an ash splint basket maker and pole-lathe bowl turner, who is largely self-taught, learning to weave her first basket eight years ago. She was proud to announce that she was the 1st prize winner, traditional category, of The Worshipful Basketmakers Company 2022 basketry competition. Among the pottery and ceramic courses is Making a ceramic animal sculpture with Zoe Whiteside (September 22-24 2023/ suitable for all/ £309).

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation 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, and access to material from the College’s amazing Collection and Archive. There are over 500 creative short courses on offer each year in a range of subjects such ranging from painting and textiles to woodworking and jewellery making, among others. Prices start from £140. Craft Foundation Degrees include Metalwork, Furniture, Clocks and Musical Instruments, for more information on these, short courses and other Conservation and Fine Art study opportunities see

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Notes to Editors:

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is an educational charity whose mission is to provide the highest quality education in arts and conservation. Alongside the academic provision, the College supports an annual programme of residencies designed to provide research and development opportunities to artists and writers whilst enhancing the learning environment of the College.

• 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.
• West Dean College 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 College of Arts and Conservation 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.

For all media enquiries please contact Rachel Aked:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 07790 732448
West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ