Tag Archives: West Dean Summer School

Silly Surreal Saturday

I thought it would be fun, on this grey, wet Winter’s day, to think back to my wonderful time at West Dean College.

At the end of Summer School there is a magnificent party which is themed with Dali in mind. We were all invited to dress accordingly

I donned one of my knitted wigs and my Frida Kahlo headband.

I don’t usually wear make-up and am so out of practice that my attempt at ‘surreal’ meant that I looked as if I had two lurid black eyes!

The dinner was fabulous with many Dali references

The art students created Mae West lip masks, after the sofa. One of the original sofas is at West Dean College.

I also wore some crazy trousers that I bought in the early 1980s and some flashing trainers that I bought to wear to my daughter’s recent 40th birthday party.

In the photo with me is C, a student on the sculpture course. She gave me permission to post the photos – thank you C!

The Summer School Party was very silly and a LOT of FUN!

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Walking the River

Land Art at West Dean College with Dan Lobb

As I gathered the mown grass, I made a meandering path.

When the wheelbarrow was full, I left a mound of ‘hay’ that needed to be stepped over. These mounds gave the walker an opportunity to pause, rather like the turns in a labyrinth.

These are two of my fellow students who kindly let me video them as they walked.

You can see A’s art on Instagram here: @aprilyasamee

and

T’s art on Instagram here : @aweworks

I had only collected 2 barrow loads at the time this video was taken. By the end of the process, I had gathered 9 barrow loads of ‘hay’.

When the project was finished, I walked the ‘River of Hay’ and at each mound spoke of something I was grateful for, before stepping over it.

Gentle tears were falling as I neared the end.

Spending time in a place where all facets of creativity are deeply and profoundly supported is an experience I wish for everyone. Soul food!

Land Art at West Dean College

I am at West Dean College this week doing a Land Art course with Dan Lobb

There are four students including me

Top left is Dan, then C who has been to West Dean many times, bottom right is T an Architect from the US. He has flown over especially for this course and bottom left A, an installation artist.

On Friday evening we gathered for a presentation by Dan, of his work and examples from other ephemeral artists working with natural elememts, like Andy Goldsworthy and Chris Drury.

This is the view from the window where the group meets

As you can see, we are currently experiencing a drought in the UK

West Dean was established by Edward James, a friend of Salvador Dali, and is a fascinating, enriching place to be.

Note the carpet: Edward James’s wife was a ballet dancer and as she ran from the bathroom with wet feet, Edward noticed her footprints and wanted them immortalised in carpet design

The gardens are glorious

and there are so many fascinating details to notice

It promises to be a spectacularly creative week on so many levels – I am in heaven!