Vert Institute
for art events and writing

Kay Syrad & Chris Drury

Vert Institute, established in 2015, operates from our house and studio on the edge of Vert Wood near the village of Laughton in East Sussex. The aim of the Institute is to offer unusual and stimulating art and writing events and workshops based on the creative ideas and experience of Kay Syrad and world-renowned land artist Chris Drury.

Events and workshops will be offered throughout the year, always with a basis in ideas about and embodied experience of the dynamic relationships between inside|outside, nature|culture, and microcosm | macrocosm. The programme may include walks and opportunities for making work outside, small exhibitions, talks and performances.

The 2015 programme began with an experimental writing workshop 'Reverie and Transparency', led by Kay and designed to encourage free, clear writing by drawing on a study of ritual in creative practice by visual anthropologist, Amanda Ravetz, and the work of Swiss/Latin American artist Mira Schendel.

Next was Winter VERT:

Making a journal

Using examples from both writers and artists, this course explored the ritual practice of making a journal, which could have been anything from writing haiku at 5pm each weekday to gathering an object every day or week and finding a form in which to present those objects. We began with an afternoon looking at an exciting range of historical and contemporary journals, and then met fortnightly between November and March, continuing to explore different styles and forms whilst supporting participants in starting and sustaining their own winter journals.

'The Vert journal course was remarkable. Always interesting, and held in such a way to help each of us, to think, feel, inquire, change, question and produce meaningful work. Work that was both finished and unfinished inspiring us on to something new whilst appreciating what we had each achieved.'

'..an incredible life affirming experience.'

'The course represented excellent value for money. I felt privileged being with such talented hosts,
and very aware of their generosity and interest in everyone's projects.'

Our new programme will be advertised on Facebook and Twitter, or contact Kay through this website for further details.


Journal of walks, Patrick Crawford, 2016


Sewing Winter's Field Day, Louise Creasey, 2016

Educational and Community

Kay Syrad is an experienced educator, working in higher, further and adult education. She has taught Creative Writing for Sussex University's Centre for Continuing Education and currently offers writing courses and workshops in a variety of community settings. She has in recent years run outreach courses for people with mental health issues and acquired brain injury, working with Sussex Downs College and Compass Community Arts, and completed a series of seasonal writing days at one of the iconic coastguard cottages overlooking the Seven Sisters at Cuckmere Haven, described by a participant as a 'day so perfect I cannot think of anything that might have been improved. Kay's balance of guidance and sensitive support is a winning combination.'

Cuckmere Cottage

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