Press Release: West Dean College of Arts and Conservation announce three Artists in Residence for 2019 / 2020

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is pleased to announce the three successful applicants for their 2019/ 2020 Open Call Artist-in-Residency. They will be Robert Phillips in November to December 2019, Michelle Ussher in January to March 2020 and then Coco Crampton in April to June 2020. As Francine Norris, Director of Education, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation commented: "We had a record number of applications, with 172 applicants from 32 countries." She continued: "The residency is designed to support contemporary practitioners in developing research projects and studio-based practice and is co-ordinated alongside the full-time Fine Art programmes at the College. The three-week residencies offer the artists the opportunity to take advantage of West Dean's rich history of supporting skills-based making as well as the legacy of its founder, Edward James, renowned for his support of individual artists and avant-garde collaborations across a variety of creative fields."

Each artist submitted a proposal. Robert Phillips noted: "I'd like to explore the relationship between Aldous Huxley and Edward James through material held in the Archive. I'd like to find out more about the Utopian vision that Edward James had for West Dean and to explore the facilities and perhaps learn some new crafts, I'm particularly interested in stone carving."

While Michelle Ussher mentioned: "When I was invited to teach on the School of Arts DACC (Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts) programme in 2018, I attended a fascinating lecture by Dr. David Stent. This chance connection reminded me of Leonora Carrington's magical legacy, in particular her writings that were developed into performances in Mexico. Wandering the brilliant interiors and grounds of West Dean, and meeting individuals from the faculties made me increasingly excited by the potential for future exchange and possibilities that could be offered to one and others work."

During the residency, Coco Crampton intends that to focus on surrealist approaches to dining: from the story of Remedios Varo sending dinner party invitations to strangers, whose names she picked at random from the phonebook, to Salvador Dali's cookery book, Les Diners de Gala, first published in 1973.Coco's proposal highlighted her intrigue in the role of food as an artistic medium and the notion that a dining room might be an extension to an artist's studio or exhibition space.

Previous resident artists have included Caroline Achaintre, Gabriele Beveridge, George Charman, Tamara Henderson, Florence Peake, Tahmina Negmat, Rose O'Gallivan, Yelena Popova, Katie Schwab, Renee So, Ross Taylor, and Poppy Jones.

The Selectors were Ross Taylor - Artist, 2018 artist-in-residence; Dr. David Stent - Artist / Subject Leader (Fine Art), West Dean College of Arts and Conservation; Sarah Hughes - Artist / Curatorial Assistant, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation; and Agata Bogacka - MFA Student representative.

The College's School of Arts programme range from a Foundation to a MFA with diverse disciplines, an exceptional studio space and a rich arts heritage environment to inform contemporary practice.


Notes to Editors:

Coco Crampton is represented by Belmacz Gallery, London
Michelle Ussher is represented by Station Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

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.

For all media enquiries please contact:

Rachel Aked

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 07790 732448

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation,

Chichester, West Sussex,