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  Our Tutors   

Piers Ottey - Studio Director

Studio 1 & 2


Originally from London, Piers studied painting at Chelsea School of Art in the 1970's. He has been painting and exhibiting ever since.

Much of his work stems from the figure or from his travels, most recently to Spain, America and Switzerland.  He has exhibited widely in London and the south as well as France and Germany.

His work is in private and corporate collections in Europe and further afield. Collections incorporating his work include Exxon UK, Bath University, Pallent House Gallery, Worthing Museum, Seaford College, Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, HNS Trust and many more.

He was awarded the Bath University Oil Painting "Peoples Prize" in 2007.


See his website here.

Caron Penney - Artist & Tutor  

Studio 5

Caron studied at Middlesex University in the early 1990's and Portsmouth University for her PGCE in the late 1990's. She has been weaving tapestries for the past twenty years both as an artist and as an artisanal weaver. From 1993 - 2013 Caron worked at West Dean Tapestry Studio and was the Studio Director from 2009 - 2013. 


Caron’s tapestries explore duality such as lightness and heaviness, illusion and reality. Her work hovers between the abstract and the figurative, creating a window into a world which is both mysterious and familiar. 


She is a member of the Contemporary Applied Arts and the 62 Group of Textile Artists. To see more of her work click here

Katharine Swailes - Artist

Studio 5

Katharine studied at West Dean College in the late1990's. She has been weaving tapestries for the past nineteen years and since 2000 Katharine has worked at West Dean Tapestry Studio as a Master Weaver. 


She creates handwoven tapestry, drawing inspiration from the materials and process. Katharine is currently working on a series of works called Glyphs and Loops using linen and cotton weft in natural and white linen,  and a randomly printed Japanese cotton tape. The cotton tape is used as a supplementary weft drawn across the woven linen canvas creating an abstract image.


She is a member of the Contemporary Applied Arts. To see more of her work click here. 

Phil Tyler

Phil Tyler is a practising artist who is interested in the relationship between the materiality of painting and its potential to create illusionary space as well as act as a cypher for grief, loss, and the notion of the sublime. His practice involves painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, collage, digital image and writing.

His work is represented by Zimmer Stewart Gallery in Arundel, the Harbour Gallery Porthcatho and the Fairfax Gallery, Burnham Market.

His first book "Drawing and Painting the Nude" was published by the Crowood Press in 2015 and his second book "Drawing and Painting the Landscape" was published in 2017. He has also written a number of pieces for The Artist Magazine.

Michael Weller

Michael Weller studied librarianship and realised early on he didn't want to be a librarian. Life drawing classes cheered him up. Later Michael took a degree in Fine Art. He attended Lavender Hill Studios, a traditional painting school and as a New English Club drawing scholar. He teaches oil painting in Brighton and Winchester.

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