Press Release: Launch of West Dean College's arts and crafts experts online

- Launch of Short Course Tutor series -

The face-to-face teaching may be suspended but the learning continues. West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has introduced a series of bite-size master tips, studio insights and mini tutorials from the College’s expert line-up of Short Course Tutors on YouTube and across the College’s social media channels.

Tutorials include Jake Spicer on drawing a charcoal self-portrait using your reflection as the subject and with our suggestion that you challenge friends and family to draw themselves via live video call (or share the results via live call) for a great way to tackle social isolation. You can get into the garden and draw and paint the tulips with Botanical Artist Sandrine Maugy. Cas Holmes demonstrates how to make mixed media collages to fill your sketch book with colour and inspiration, Photographer Tim Savage offers a quick guide to using the flash on your DSLR camera, and Katy Bevan’s two-part film will get beginners crocheting. More tutor clips are being released daily.

As Alison Baxter, Head of School of Art, commented: “Every year West Dean College offers more that 800 short courses for thousands of students for all abilities. This is our way of keeping connected with students who have studied at West Dean and already know how inspiring the gardens are, and offering inspiration to those new to our wonderful gardens because art and creativity can help each of us find our way through these unusual and tough times. Many of our clips focus on materials you may already have – perhaps just paper and pencils or, as our brief clip by plein air artist Frances Hatch demonstrates, you can use freshly mown grass and other natural materials as your paint.

She continued: “We have also introduced the West Dean Sketchbook Project on social media to encourage people to share their own creative response to regular postings of images from West Dean Gardens, which have a huge following. This week’s photo of a beautiful fritillary can, for example, be the inspiration for a lino cut, a chequered patchwork, a charcoal drawing or abstract art. Seeing the creative responses from individuals is helping us all stay connected at a time when we can’t be in the workshops. We encourage you to join in the conversation on social media, and subscribe to our YouTube channel as more films are being added all the time.” 

Do follow on Social Media @westdeancollege for creative content and @westdeangardens to see Spring unfold in the Gardens. #westdeantogether

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

West Dean Gardens, Near Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 ORX

Notes to editors:

  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and West Dean Gardens are part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.

    For further Press information contact Rachel Aked:
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel: 07790 732448