West Dean Residency Open Call 2024/25

We are delighted to be offering a unique opportunity for a creative practitioner (artist, writer, designer) to undertake a 6-week residency that explores the college’s ambitious approach to the future of West Dean’s 6500-acre rural estate.

The selected practitioner will be invited to make active use of the College, Gardens, and wider Estate, using them as tools through which to investigate imaginative and critical approaches to sustainability and resilient pedagogy. We invite proposals from practitioners whose work addresses long-term thinking, materiality, and place-based research.

This residency is designed to engage with the opportunities that arise from rethinking how land is used and who it is for, sustainable materials, interspecies relationships, and how we can create innovative learning environments. The College is implementing change in each of these areas, and we invite proposals that interrogate and celebrate one or more of West Dean’s commitments, to:

  • Rethink land use across the whole estate to support a productive, farmed landscape, that mitigates against climate change and increases biodiversity
  • Plant 500,000 new trees as part of a major woodland creation scheme
  • Reduce water use by 30%
  • Serve local produce in the College and Garden’s Restaurant
  • Send zero waste to landfill
  • Design and construct sustainable new buildings
  • Be certified Climate Neutral by 2030
  • Achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2050
  • Embed sustainable education within the curriculum
  • Ensure an inclusive and diverse culture, curriculum, collection, and campus

Proposals should outline how you intend to spend your time at West Dean, what facilities you require to fulfil your proposal, and the proposed outcome of their residency. Please note West Dean does not have a public exhibition space but we invite proposals for activity that can take place within the Gardens and Estate, or that aligns with existing exhibition opportunities.

More information about the residency, including how to apply, can be found on our residency page here

Residency programme

Co-ordinated by the School of Arts at West Dean College, our residencies are designed to support artists and writers in developing research projects and studio-based practices. The residencies are informed by the site and landscape of West Dean, as well as the cultural legacy of our founder, Edward James, renowned for his support of individual artists and avant-garde collaborations across a variety of creative fields.

Previous resident artists include: Caroline Achaintre, Sam Arye, Sonia E Barrett, Gabriele Beveridge, Linda Brothwell, Celilia Charleton, George Charman, Florence Dwyer, Tamara Henderson, Poppy Jones, Elora Kadir, Tahmina Negmat, Alicia Paz, Florence Peake, Rachel Pimm, Yelena Popova, Claire Ratinon, RESOLVE Collective, Katie Schwab, Sherie Sitauze, Renee So, Alec Stevens, Ross Taylor, Stuart Whipps.

Previous writers include: Kia Abdullah, Amer Anwar, Damian Barr, Rutendo Chabikwa, Anna Chilver, Anni Domingo, Sharon Duggal, Yvvette Edwards, Salena Godden, Michelle Green, Elizabeth Haynes, Catherine Johnson, Izabela Morska, Courttia Newland, Okechukwu Nzelu Allie Rodgers, William Shaw, Preti Taneja, Laureen Vonnegut.