West Dean College’s visual-arts end-of-year summer-show Critical Paths brings together the work of a dozen artists in the college’s Edward James Studios between Saturday and Friday, July 1-7 (10am-5pm).
The participating students are all graduating from the full-time visual-arts programmes at West Dean College. Taking part are: Laura Luna Castillo, Sarah Cliff, Susan Evans, Lester Korzilius, Merna Liddawi, Cherie Lubbock, Barbara Mackie, Isabella Ramsay, Deborah Ravetz, Hala Sabet, Christopher Walker and Askild Winkelmann.
As Susan explains: “We have all participated in either the graduate diploma, postgraduate diploma, which lasts one year, or the master of fine art degree which takes place over two years. This exhibition is the culmination of studies since September and is examined internally and externally to decide the final grade. The exhibition will include painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, textile, film and installation.
“Students on the course are of all ages, from different backgrounds and come from far and wide. Cherie, Christopher and Susan have all been teachers. Art wasn’t their subject but all now relish the opportunity to realise a long-held ambition to return to study in depth an area they have found fascinating.
“Barbara lives in Edinburgh, Askild is from Germany and Laura from Mexico. Others, living in England now, originate from Jordan (Merna), Egypt (Hala) and California (Lester).
“But it is the house, gardens, grounds, Edward James archive and surrealist legacy of the college that has played a huge part over the year in bringing us together.
“A number of students took part in the recent West Dean Arts & Craft Festival installing site-specific works within West Dean House. Students have built on the success of this opportunity and will be showing work in the grounds as well as the Edward James Studios.”
The surroundings are specifically referenced.
Isabella Ramsay said: “I knew about the gardens and how they have been developed over the last 25 years to their current beauty before I came but had no idea how I would be affected by the wider grounds. To be honest I have spent as much time outside as in the studio and came to the realisation this enjoyment had to be part of my final work. The most magical place is the arboretum where Edward James is buried. I have chosen to site my work there which I hope will both protect the spot and elevate it in importance. There will be a map to guide visitors so they can enjoy the surroundings as well as my work.”
Laura Luna Castillo has chosen to salvage objects from the rubbish bins and turn them into intriguing kinetic installations. She has dismantled and reassembled an old college window frame, reveals the usually-overlooked qualities of discarded soap, and soon an old bed will have a new life as an artwork.”
Sarah Cliff is graduating after two years studying for a master of fine art degree: “The collection, archive and library at West Dean have provided my work with a rich source of academic and visual references.”
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