Photographic exhibition will help appeal to restore West Dean's glasshouses

Work by Graham Murrell
Work by Graham Murrell

West Dean College is to host a photographic exhibition with all sale proceeds going to support their gardens glasshouse appeal.

Over the past couple of years, Selsey-based photographer Graham Murrell has been casting a discerning eye over West Dean Gardens and later within West Dean House, the setting of West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, to create a series of atmospheric works that are to be sold on behalf of the appeal.

The exhibition, which is called Rhythms and Riffs, takes place in The Edward James Studios and opens with a special preview with drinks on Friday, August 23, between 5-8pm and continues until Wednesday, September 4, between 10am-5pm in The Edward James Studios, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation (use Gardens entrance), PO18 0RX.

Graham, former head of photography at Central St Martins College of Art, said: “In the Gardens, I have been drawn to photograph (using medium format film and traditional processes) the visual notes and chords that together comprise the wonderful composition created over the past three decades by Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain. Here in the house at West Dean I have referred to its Surrealist past in homage to the movement supported and encouraged by Edward James.”

Graham’s previous work includes Kettles Yard, Cambridge and The Artists House in the New Art Centre, Salisbury.

West Dean spokeswoman Rachel Aked said: “West Dean’s magnificent Grade II listed glasshouses, built during the 1890s by Foster and Pearson, were at the forefront of Victorian technology. After the Great Storm of 1987, one of the first jobs was to restore all 13 glasshouses to full working order. However, 30 years on and the warm and damp conditions created in a glasshouse contribute to its own decay. Nine out of the thirteen glasshouses have now been fully restored, and work to the final four is planned for this year. However £29,000 is left to raise to finish the project in its entirety.”

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