News Archive

Read more news from the Tapestry Studio at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in West Sussex.

Tapestry Weavers Eleanor Rudd and Philip Sanderson in the Tapestry Studio

Unveiling of The Fallowfield

COLLECT 2018 saw the unveiling of a tapestry called The Fallowfield by artist Eva Rothschild in collaboration with the weavers at West Dean Tapestry Studio. This 16-month collaboration was the result of an Open Call, which was announced in June 2016. The call required bold and imaginative ideas from artists who needed no previous experience of working with tapestry. Rothschild's winning design enabled the creation of a hand-woven tapestry of her design - as well asthe opportunity for her to undertake a three-week residency at the College to expand her knowledge of the weaving process and develop her final design.

"It was a really great experience working on the piece with Philip Sanderson. I was able to learn a new set of skills which will continue to inform my wider practice and to create a new work in a medium I had long been interested in but had not previously had access to." - Eva Rothschild

Master Weavers Shortlisted for Cordis Prize

Weavers Philip Sanderson and Katharine Swailes have both been shortlisted for the Cordis Prize 2017. Visual Arts Scotland in collaboration with the Cordis Trust are delighted topresent the shortlisted artists for the third in the series of the Cordis Trust Prizes for Tapestry.

Philip Sanderson, All Different Things

Katharine Swailes, Crossing the Avenue

The shortlisted entries will be exhibited at Visual Arts Scotland's next Exhibition in the Upper Galleries of the Royal Scottish Academy in December 2016, and the winning entry will be selected from the shortlisted exhibits.

Tapestry Commission Open Call 2016 - Winner Announced

Irish artist, Eva Rothschild, a leading sculptor who has gained extensive international recognition for her work, has been named winner of West Dean Tapestry Studio's first ever Tapestry Commission Open Call. Rothschild will be in residence at the Tapestry Studio to develop the final design. Rothschild was selected from 150 artists who submitted a design or concept to be hand woven by Master Weavers at the studio in early 2017. Entries were received from all over the UK, from the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Wight.

"I am delighted to be undertaking the tapestry commission at West Dean. I have a longstanding interest in the woven surface and pieces made using both existing hand woven rugs and woven paper and leather have had a presence in my practice for many years," says Rothschild. "All of my work in this area has been self-taught and the commission offers me the opportunity to collaborate the with master weavers at the highest level to develop a new artwork and to expand the vocabulary of my practice in general."

Image: Artist: Eva Rothschild. Title: What I Want 2014.
Medium: Jesmonite, Fibreglass, Wood, Aluminium, Papier-mache, Plaster Bandage, Paint, Lacquer, Steel 188 x 265 x 177 cm. Photo: Courtesy of the artist. The artwork on the wall behind is;
Title: The Xs and the Ys 2014. Medium: Resin, Wool, Steel Frame 184 x 128 x 3 cm. Photo: Courtesy of the artist Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London. Photography by Robert Glowacki.

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John Piper Exhibition

A new exhibition John Piper: The Fabric of Modernism at Pallant House Gallery run from 12 March to 12 June 2016. The exhibition is the first to focus on the English artist's textile work. The exhibition will feature original archive photographs of the series of art tapestries Foliate Heads woven in the 1980s by West Dean Tapestry Studio in collaboration with Piper (1903 - 1992) one of the leading Modernist artists of the 20th century. Shown alongside related paintings and other studies the archive materials will demonstrate how Piper's designs were intricately connected with his wider work.

"West Dean Tapestry Studio has a long established history of working with artists, designers and weavers to translate an artwork into a hand woven tapestry," says Philip Sanderson, Studio Leader and Tutor at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. "The work produced is usually on a grand scale; a tapestry is often considerably larger than the artwork being translated, sometimes as much as 15 times. The mutually creative dialogue, between the creator of the artwork and the weaver, is a joint adventure, a journey taken together".

Faye Toogood Tapestry at West Dean Tapestry Studio

British Designer Transforms a London Flat With Bold Color…

British Designer Transforms a London Flat With Bold Color…

International interior designer, Faye Toogood, was given carte blanche to conceive a complete universe in Mayfair's neighbourhood. "It was like creating a living work of art," says Toogood.

Nearly everything for the London home of an American couple was custom made and Faye 'chose to work exclusively with British materials and craftspeople'. West Dean's Tapestry Studio collaborated with the designer to create a made-to-order tapestry for the master bedroom. Storm, woven in shades of sapphire with bespoke hand-dyed yarns, was hand woven by Philip Sanderson, Studio Leader.

Read the full article on the New York Times website.

(Bedroom image credit: Tobias Harvey)

Tapestry Studio Symposium 2017

West Dean Tapestry Studio Symposium 2017 focused on the relationship between art and craft, as well as questioning the role of making and the maker in contemporary practice.

The Symposium expolored how collaborations between artists and makers can inform each other's practice, through a number of speakers, including artists currently working with the Tapestry Studio. It will explore how tapestry can tap into a the current interest in skill-based making in contemporary art.

View the tapestry symposium presentations:

  • Presentation by Jo Barker
  • Presentation by Mardi Nowak
  • Paper by Annelie Holmberg
  • Video by Harmony & Suprises

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