Press release: Public Events at West Dean 2019

From the colour of the Chilli Fiesta to the creativity of the Arts and Crafts Festival to the relaxing Gardens and the diversity of the musical performances, throughout 2019, West Dean will be offering a wide variety of events.


26th - Artist Talk - Maz Jackson & Professor Peter Billingham
6pm, The Old Library
A collaboration formed over coffee at West Dean in 2017, between two international award-winning practitioners, artist and tutor Maz Jackson and author and dramatist Peter Billingham. Peter revisited the 5th century Celtic narrative to compose a play 'The Drowned and the Saved' - focussed on our world of refugees risking their lives on perilous seas.
Cost: Free

28th - Salon Imaginaire #5 - Jez riley French & Lisa Knapp
8-10pm, Open to all age 12+, The Old Library.
Jez riley French was recently described in an interview with the British Library as being one of the most influential sound artists of his generation, not only for his creative work but also for his expansion of extended field recording techniques and modes of listening in general. Lisa Knapp is a London-based singer who performs music that is firmly grounded in traditional folk singing.
Cost: Pay What You Decide


17th - Paul Wilmot - Lunchtime Piano Recital
12.45-1.30pm, The Old Library
Paul Wilmot was an organ scholar at University College, Oxford, where he studied under the renowned organist David Sanger. This lunchtime concert celebrates a diverse selection of piano works written during the historical period of Edward James' time at West Dean.
Cost: Pay What You Decide

19th - Author Talk - Becoming Elly Griffiths
5.30pm, The Old Library
Domenica de Rosa was born in London, and had a successful career in publishing before writing what would become her first published novel while on maternity leave. She went on to write three further books about Italy and family, before turning her attention to crime fiction; under the alias of Elly Griffiths. In this Author Talk, Domenica discusses why she changed her writing identity, and how she launched Elly on the world.
Cost: Free

28th - Salon Imaginaire #6 - Laura Cannell and Leafcutter John
8-10pm, The Old Library, open to all age 12+
Laura Cannell's music is a testament to the power of solo performance. Using traditional resources - fiddle and recorders - she performs highly dynamic semi-composed, semi-improvised pieces which explore the spaces between the ancient and experimental. Leafcutter John is an acclaimed acoustic musician and artists, making work that is inspired by two strands: computer music and folk music.
Cost: Pay What You Decide


11th - Chiligirian Quartet Concert
8pm, The Old Library
The celebrated Chilingirian Quartet return to West Dean College to perform Thea Musgrave - Quartet; Kareem Roustom - Quartet and Tchaikovsky - Quartet No 1.
Cost: £15

19th - 22nd - Easter Trail and Activities
Bring family and friends to West Dean Gardens near Chichester during the Easter holidays and follow the Easter trail for a prize at the end. The trail has two levels of difficulty, so it's suitable for all ages, and there are garden games along the way. Children can also enjoy Easter themed arts and craft activities in the Gardens' classroom.
Child tickets £5
Adult tickets £9.50 (normal gardens entry)
Children under 16 enjoy free Gardens entry, but will need an Easter ticket to participate in the activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

27th - Salon Imaginaire #7 - Diane Cluck and Ichi
8-10pm, The Old Library, open to all age 12+
Diane Cluck is an American singer-songwriter who contributed to New York's burgeoning 'Antifolk' scene in the early 2000s and since then, singer-songwriters such as Laura Marling and Florence Welch have cited Diana as a major influence. Ichi is a musician from Japan who takes the notion of a one-man band to new limits.
Cost: Pay What You Decide

29th - Philip Sanderson & the West Dean Tapestry Studio
6-7pm - The Old Library
West Dean Tapestry Studio has an international reputation for working with leading contemporary artists and practitioners. Known for its strong interpretive skills and artistic vision, the studio has an outstanding portfolio including major commissions from Biggs and Collings, Tracey Emin, Martin Creed and Henry Moore. Philip Sanderson will talk about how the Tapestry Studio works with the artists to translate their imagery and discuss their recent project with Eva Rothschild.
Cost: Free

30th - Author Talk TBC


1st - Archive Talk - TBC

3rd - 6th - Line & Form
The annual selling exhibition of work by full-time Visual Arts students at West Dean College, raising funds to support their forthcoming Summer Shows.

8th - Renee So - Artist Talk
6-7pm, The Old Library
Renee So will be artist-in-residence at West Dean College from April-May 2019, leading to a solo exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion in September. Responding to an invitation to mark the Bauhaus centenary, So will create a new series of works that explore the Design School's gesamtkunstwerk ethos - a 'total work of art' uniting art and craft, demonstrating how traditional crafts continue to influence contemporary practice, just as they did in the Bauhaus a century ago.
Cost: Free

9th - Salon Imaginaire #8 - Pat Thomas and Sarah Angliss
8-10pm, The Old Library, open to all age 12+
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from the age of eight and started playing Jazz from the age of sixteen. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. Sarah Angliss is a composer making dreamlike performances and reflects her eclectic background as a classically trained composer, electronic artist and folk musician.
Cost: Pay What You Decide

10th - Student and Emerging Professional Conference
The aim of this conference is to raise awareness and prepare conservation students and emerging professionals to adapt to the changing challenges of best practice.
Ticket information and further details about the event will be available soon.

15th - Elena Gileva - Artist Talk
6-7pm, The Old Library
Elena Gileva is a Russian-born (1992), London based artist fixating on the decorative, historical and ornamental through the medium of ceramics and sculpture.
Cost: Free

22nd - Toby Christian - Artist Talk
6-7pm, The Old Library
Toby Christian uses writing as an integral part of his wide-ranging practice. This ongoing activity results in the production of sculpture, installation, performance, painting and animation.
Cost: Free

29th - Sarah Cliff - Alumini Artist Talk
6-7pm, Estate Boardroom
Sarah Cliff is an experimental printmaker and assemblage artist. Her practice is a personal response to cultural and historical shifts in attitudes and the dark and humorous philosophical dilemmas they present. Since completing her MFA at West Dean College in 2017, she has exhibited work in printmaker exhibitions in London and New York.
Cost: Free


31st (May) - 2nd - West Dean Arts and Craft Festival
A weekend bursting with creativity! Get hands-on with drop-in workshops and classes, see live demos, buy unique crafted items, see the work of emerging artists and step inside the historic House.
Tickets on sale from the w/c Feb 18th
Adult £10.50 early bird/£12.50 on the day
Child under 16 Free
Students 16+ in f/t education £6.00 - show student ID
Workshops: (bookable online with some available on the day: £14 and £17 depending on workshop, each 1.5 hrs). Children'workshops £8.

5th - Anna Gonzalez Noguchi - Artist Talk
6-7pm, The Old Library
Anna Gonzalez Noguchi (b.1992) is a half-Spanish and Japanese artist based in London and in Athens, Greece. She graduated from the Royal College of Art (MA Sculpture) in 2016/2018.
Cost: Free


6th - 12th - Visual Arts Summer Show
Preview: Friday 5 July, 5-8pm. Open: Saturday 6 - Friday 12 July 2019, 10am-5pm, The Edward James Studios
The West Dean Visual Arts Summer Show 2019 will showcase original work by emerging artists studying for their 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.
Cost: Free


9th - 11th - Chilli Fiesta
Join the party at the UK's biggest chilli festival. Dance to live Latin music, watch cookery and gardening demonstrations and taste delicious chilli foods 'til your tongue sizzles. Make the most of the family-friendly festival atmosphere and camp onsite with great facilities.
What's on?
• Live music including DJs and Latin bands
• Latin dance demonstrations and workshops with professional dancers
• Over 140 shopping stalls selling chilli gifts, plants seeds and produce
• Five different bars to find refreshments
• Vintage funfair
• Workshops, music and dance
• Children's activities
• Camping
• Explore the gardens
• Outdoor cinema with films for all the family
• Cookery demonstrations by top chefs
• Fireworks
Cost and more details to be announced soon

24th - 27th - Guitar Festival - various concerts and open day
Including: Saturday 24th August 2019- Concert by Fabio Zanon, St. Andrew's Church, West Dean 8pm.
Brazilian virtuoso, Fabio Zanon, is regarded as one of the pre-eminent guitarists of today. He is a tutor, chamber player, conductor, author, broadcaster, and Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
Cost: £15


21st - Recital of Music for Piano with Roy Stratford
8pm, The Old Library
Roy Stratford performs Bach's Goldberg Variations, which demonstrates almost everything that Western classical music has achieved in terms of both technical brilliance and emotional range.
Cost: £15


30th - 3rd (Nov) - Halloween - TBC


1st - Halloween and Bonfire Night event - TBC


7th - 8th & 14th - 15th - Father Christmas visits

Editor's Notes

Please note that you need to register for the Free Talks. To book online and for more information on Events at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, please visit or connect via social media:

To book online and for more information on Events at West Dean Gardens, please visit or connect via social media:


  • 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.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within ‚Ä®easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.
  • West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • West Dean Gardens are open to the public from February to December.

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