Edward James Research Group

Edward James photo
The Edward James Research Group is committed to supporting the research activities of academics, conservators, artists, art historians, and full-time students interested in the legacy of West Dean College’s founder, Edward James. Through research fora, seminars, symposia and practice-based research the group explores various aspects of James’ activity, including visual art, Surrealism, conservation, poetry and fiction writing, horticulture, architecture, patronage, musical composition and dance. The Edward James Research Group encourages engagement with James studies from both historic and contemporary perspectives.

The aims of the Group are to enable members to develop their understanding of Edward James’ life and work, and further establish West Dean College as a unique and supportive environment for study across the creative arts, conservation and making. This is achieved both through close examination of existing research material and through discussion with colleagues from diverse backgrounds to deepen the wider historic, theoretical, and practice-based research interests. As such, it provides access to innovative thinking and establishes networking opportunities for West Dean staff, students and visitors alike.

The Group organises the Edward James Research Programme, an on-going series of academic and educational events open to the public, and supports study visits to the college from external researchers. The group also liaises closely with the college’s Artist-in-Residence programme.

Research Group contacts:

Emma O’Driscoll, EJRG Chair
West Dean House Steward

Interests: collections management; preventative conservation; integrated pest management

Dr. David Stent
Programme Leader of Visual Arts, Chair of Research Forum

Interests: artists’ publications; theory and philosophy in contemporary art

Teresa Shergold
College Librarian

Interests: artists books; performance art; dance

Sarah Hughes
Research Assistant, Visual Arts Lecturer

Interests: sculpture; composition; the legacy of the avant-garde; politics of art 

Robin Sheehan
Clerk of Works

Interests: historic building conservation; architectural history; building archaeology