This spring and summer I will be one of a small group of Outside In artists exploring the Edward James archive and the surrealist artists featured in the West Dean College art collection. From submitting my application only a few weeks ago, to attending the interview this week, and with the course starting just next week ... the whole thing still feels a bit unreal to me even as I type this.
After years of trying to find a way of engaging with the West Dean art collection and course offerings, suffice to say this opportunity is beyond anything I might have hoped for. There is so much I don't know about the archive and about the collection, but the little I do know, means I am super excited for the journey ahead.
Pictured here is the artist who made my application easy to complete: Leonora Carrington. Having read everything I could find about her: from biography to novel, painting catalog to fiction, I have known that the role of Edward James in supporting her work and getting it known is not insignificant. The fact I will be able to explore her work, his patronage, and the wider surrealist movement first hand as part of this course ... well, maybe it will start feeling more real next week when I go for the first session.
All I know for sure is that more updates will have to follow!
Covers from 'Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art' by Susan L. Aberth, and 'Down Below' by Leonora Carrington. The first, a fabulous catalog of Leonora's work and the second, Leonora's own record of her time spent in a Spanish mental institution following a break down after the arrest of her lover and fellow surrealist artist, Max Ernst.
Because I have become quite the fan girl, I'd also recommend, 'The Ear Trumpet,' a surrealist novel by Leonora Carrington ... and once read, never forgotten, her short story 'The Debutante,' alongside 'The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington' by Joanna Moorhead and 'Leonora: A novel inspired by the life of Leonora Carrington' by Elena Poniatowska.
I'm sure that will keep even the keenest of my fellow fan girls/boys busy till my next update ;)