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West Dean’s Winter School - Visual Storytelling: Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales

West Dean is a small specialist College set in the heart of the 6,400 acre West Dean Estate near Chichester, West Sussex. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the slopes of the South Downs, it is a sensational setting for you to develop your skills.

Edward James, the founder of West Dean College wrote in 1941: "I felt I could do more to alter the face of the world, more to usher in the new world, by spending in my own way – in particular, by fostering any and all creative spirits I could meet with, who had something individually to contribute to the building of that more vivid and more living future..."

Today, West Dean College is still nurturing Edward’s unique legacy, using his remarkable vision as a guide.  His patronage of and collaboration with many emerging talents in the 1930s and 1940s included Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, René Magritte and Salvador Dalí.

A week of courses from November 17 to 22, that explore storytelling through different arts and crafts. This year the theme is Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales, and subjects include automata, jewellery, puppetry and performance, printing scrolls and animation.

The courses include:

  • Mechanical toys from wire, wood and found objects - A playful introduction to making mechanical toys using wire, wood and found objects. - IAN MCKAY
  • Story, image, object – create a necklace - Create a necklace that tells a story – an imagined history or a family myth or legend. This is a course that treats jewellery as art and whilst traditional jewellery making skills are taught. - ZOE ARNOLD
  • Handmade narratives - Stories, lists, poems all conjure up images. During this week we will explore ways of working with readily accessible materials to make creatures and their surroundings that illustrate a tale. - JULIE ARKELL
  • Stop-motion animation - Make your own animated film using the frame-by-frame technique employed by stop-motion animators. - WILL BISHOP-STEPHENS
  • Puppetry and performance - Develop your puppetry and performance skills as you create a short performance based on your chosen Myth, Legend or Fairy Tale. ISOBEL SMITH
  • Print an illustrated story scroll - Create a scroll that tells a story. Continuing an art form used throughout history, you will make an individual piece, acquiring the skills needed for wood cut prints; carving, cutting, reduction and multi block printing. - MAZ JACKSON