West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has announced the winners of a competition to create installations for its Arts and Craft Festival this June. Fine Arts students were invited to submit proposals for artworks inspired by West Dean's Collection and Archive, which preserves the legacy of College founder Edward James: 'the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century' (BBC Arts Online, April 2017). The four works include sculpture inspired by the creation of the Edward James Archive, a performance piece informed by James' involvement with Les Ballets 1933, a textile based on the clenched fist motif of the James Press, and a large-scale work that references West Dean's famous Footprint Carpet.
The works will be displayed during the festival in West Dean House, home to the College, alongside work from the Collection by Pavel Tchelitchew and Leonor Fini, and in the grounds.
"The quality, breadth and inventiveness of proposals from our Graduate Diploma and MFA students brings West Dean's surrealist heritage alive for today's visitors in what is one of the UK's most unique arts destinations." Francine Norris, Director of Education.
The four installations to appear in and around West Dean House are:
Faust Stoff (pictured below) by Maud Boothby (Graduate Diploma Visual Artist), on display in The Star Room.
Boothby adapts the motif of the clenched fist used by Edward James as an image for his publishing venture (The Faustian Press) in 1931. Boothby's own version of the fist onto a large assemblage of printed silks and cotton fabrics, using colours and patterns found in the West Dean Collection.
Vestiges by Chérie Lubbock (Master of Fine Art), forged steel, cellophane, thread, netting, foam and paint, on display in The Music Room.
Bound together using ties and sealed in cellophane, Lubbock's sculpture is a physical manifestation of support and protection, engaging with the purpose of the Edward James Archive: to pass on his legacy and ideals.
A Conversation in Steel by Askild Winkelmann (Master of Fine Art), performance in The Oak Hall
Responding to the James family involvement in theatre and performance, often performed in the Oak Hall, this new piece of choreography by student and fencer Winkelmann is inspired by photographs from the Archive, conflicting balletic grace against agile fencing movement.
Painted Paces by Emma Rimmer (Graduate Diploma Visual Art) Land Art in the grounds facing the College.
Inspired by Edward James' 'Footprint Carpet' created in the 1930s and on view in the house today, Rimmer re-contextualises the footprint outdoors, enlarging it in the spirit of West Dean's surrealist heritage.
The festival is a chance for visitors to get hands-on with a new art or craft in a fun environment, as well as buy hand-made crafts and watch live demonstrations.
Fold formed copper & silver jewellery. Learn how to use hammers and experiment with texturing and fold forming techniques to make an attractive pair of earrings or pendant with award winning jeweller Abigail Brown.
Pottery throwing. An introduction into pottery throwing for beginners with West Dean ceramics tutors.
Make a leather keyring. Using basic skills of edge punching, stitching and edge finishing, create a leather keyring to take home.
Stained glass window decoration. Cut simple shapes in coloured glass, copper foil them and solder together to make a small flower with tutor Caroline Gray.
Make a silk daisy for millinery decoration. Make a delicate silk daisy. Learn how to bond layers, use traditional heated tools, bind seams and make a leather calyx.
West Dean Arts and Craft festival will see the College open its gates to over 5,000 visitors and 200 artists, printmakers, craftspeople and writers. The three-day festival takes place at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, near Chichester West Sussex. It is a site that continues to inspire generations of artists, makers, designers and writers through the legacy of Edward James.
Tickets are £10 early bird (£12 on the day) with children free.
West Dean College of Arts and Conservation near Chichester in West Sussex, is internationally recognised for arts and conservation education. Edward James, who founded the College, was a poet, artist and patron of the Surrealist Movement. James, sponsored emerging artists and writers including John Betjeman, Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. Today the College continues this work by supporting people to realise their creative ambitions and potential.
West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.
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