Trudi Browett
  B Browe



The Preoccupation of Room 43Porcelain, porcelain paper clay slip, dyed wool yarn, dyed fabric, velvet, concrete, cyanotype print, polyester plate lithography, relief print, collage and found objects.

Installed within West Dean House during the Covid-19 lockdown, The Preoccupation of Room 43 saw Trudi Browett intervene in a historic bedroom with close associations with Edward James – poet, patron, and founder of West Dean College – with elaborate furnishings and decorative wall paintings dating from the 1930s. Coming from a studio practice that brings together all manner of found materials as part of a ‘pseudo-domestic’ scenography, laden with complex associations and emotions, the installation combined found and constructed images, as well as fragmentary objects in a variety of materials. The resulting arrangement prodcued an intimate, uncanny and ambiguous portrait of a person (or persons) both familiar and out of reach.

Distributed around the space, often in half-visible, secreted places, were fragments of porcelain paper clay, dyed wool yarn and fabric, velvet, concrete, cyanotypes, polyester plate lithography, relief print, and collage. As with other manifestations of Trudi’s work, The Preoccupation of Room 43 imbued everyday objects with layers of unexpected and often unsettling narrative. As a carefully constructed scenario it was both elegiac and suggestive of surrealistic humour, even bringing out associations with the workings of the child’s mind.

The installation was open to visitors two at a time due to the social distancing required – circumstances that added an extra sense of strangeness to the occasion. 

Photography: Barney Hindle
West Dean College of Arts & Conservation
West Dean, Chichester, West Sussex
United Kingdom  PO18 0QZ