Press Release: Explore the land and sea, arts and crafts short courses 2017

Explore the local landscape, seascape and towns on a short course at West Dean College, near historic Chichester on the South Coast. The latest release of spring and summer courses offers the opportunity to learn a range of traditional and contemporary creative crafts relating to the environment in light and airy art studios and fully equipped workshops. Be guided and inspired by expert tutors who are all practicing professionals with impressive reputations. Experience the unique atmosphere of the internationally renowned college, set within the South Downs, which is the former home of Edward James, poet and patron of the Surrealist Movement. Students have access to the award-winning gardens during their stay and can explore the 240-acre award-winning parkland, walled kitchen garden and St Roche's Arboretum during breaks in classes.

Develop your repertoire of mark-making using charcoal, working from direct observation and your own photographs. Landscape drawing with charcoal with contemporary artist Kate Boucher (28 - 30 April, weekend, £228, suitable for all).

Improve the artistic quality of your coastal and seascape photography on nearby location. Learn about composition and settings. Back in the studio use Adobe Photoshop software as both a correctional and creative tool to enhance your images. Digital seascape photography with international photographer, Neil Crichton (2 - 5 May, three days, £344, beginners/intermediate).

Sculptor and stone carver, Paula Haughney, will teach you the skills and techniques to create a stone carving for the outdoor environment, to be placed in an urban, garden or natural setting. Discover how to select your stone, location, light, texture and design. Consideration will also be given to other sculptors, natural rock forms, ancient civilisations and the power of stone. Stone carving in the landscape (NEW 14 - 19 May, five days, £526, suitable for all).

Explore ways to depict light and movement to capture the townscape in oils with landscape painter, Tom Benjamin. Paint outside in nearby Chichester and Midhurst and develop your work back in the studio. Painting townscapes in oils (29 May - 2 June, four days, £426, intermediate/advanced).

Capture the richly varied landscape in short forays into the ancient farmlands, village and rural setting surrounding West Dean. Learn how to frame strong compositions in your sketches, connect with the land and distil your immediate responses to develop a personal drawing style. Sketching across the South Downs with artist, Maxine Relton (4 - 9 June, five days, £535, suitable for all).

Learn a range of techniques to create several pieces of glass art in Landscapes and seascapes in fused glass with glass artist, Claire Hall. All technical and creative aspects of glass fusing will be covered, including multiple layer firings, using powders, frits, stringers and sheet glass (25 - 28 September, three days, £384, suitable for all).

Visual Arts and Crafts Summer Schools

West Dean's popular Summer Schools are a creative and social highlight of the year. Extend your stay on one of the three separate week-long courses which allow you to encounter a broad range of creative insights and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere at West Dean. Week One (29 July - 4 August), Week Two (5 - 11 August) and Week Three (12 - 18 August).

The College offers over 700 short courses each year from basketweaving to bobbin lacemaking, and sewing to sculpture. To browse the latest digital brochure and to book online visit

Gift vouchers of £10, £25, £50 or £100 can be used as full or part payment towards a short course.

The college offers B&B accommodation from £102 per person for two nights (twin occupancy).


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • The college offers over 700 creative short courses each year, as well as Diploma and Degree programmes in the School of Conservation and School of Creative Arts.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.

Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Officer, +44 (0)1243 811301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ