A Fresh StART

The Whitstable School A Level Fine Art, Photography & Textiles
  • Opens: 11 January 2020
  • Closes: 26 January 2020
  • Where: Gallery 2

6th form students at the Whitstable School and The Horsebridge Arts Centre have co-curated A FRESH STARTas part of their A level, Fine Art, Photography and Textiles courses. This mixed media collection showcases Year 12 and 13 work created during the course, in a professional gallery environment, allowing the students to demonstrate their comprehensive knowledge of the fundamentals of Art and Design.

Participating students are Rosa Wheeler, Tyler Spensley, Tom Deed, Charley Smith, Georgina Scanlon, Freya East, Elanah Heckley, Logan Tindell, Grace Smith, Casey Rigden, Jaimie-lei Cooper, Leah Osman, Tenecia Thorman-Clune, Phoebe Crocombe, Orla Preston-Hibbert, Lewis Waters, Deven Mantle, Ben Avery, Will Thopson, Ewa Minkowska, Ben Roberts, Hollie Casey, Faye Johnson, Tabitha Hills, Hollie Mercer, Jaiden Sayer, Casey Ward, Millie Ward, Faith Masters and Sophie Tilley. Find out more about each artist and some of their work below.


Supported by the David Family Foundation

Exhibitor Information

The Whitstable School A Level Fine Art, Photography & Textiles



Rosa Wheeler, Year 12
As a young climate activist, I wanted to create a piece which expresses and highlights the growing climate emergency. I have chosen to focus on ocean pollution through my structural installation. Using wool, I have knitted a textural abstract representation of the sea and what lurks beneath it. After collecting rubbish found along our coastline, I have incorporated this into my piece showing the damage we as humans are creating. Moving forward into the future I hope to create other installations depicting how man is slowly poisoning nature. After school I hope to go on and pursue a rewarding career in social work helping those most vulnerable and in need of help as well as continuing campaigning on political issues that are close to my heart.

Charley Smith, Year 13
At The Whitstable School I am studying both A-Level Fine Art and Textiles courses, which in both I’m exploring portraiture. In Fine Art I am looking deeply into politicians and their views on abortion. I got influenced by Paula Rego’s abortion series. I love to paint in different styles with both oil and acrylic paint. Within Textiles I do narrative pieces, I had found a story of a solider in an article who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and I have been putting his story on garments and expressing his emotions, influenced by textile artist Val Jackson. I hope to go to university in Canterbury for the Art and Design foundation year and progress in the Visual Arts.

Elanah Heckley, Year 13
For my A Level Fine Art, I am currently exploring ‘Time and Decay’, especially how time creates decay on structures and nature. I like to develop my work from studying artists like Beatriz Milhaze with her vibrant colours while also incorporating textures like ceramic artist Tamsin van Essen and the environment. My work has strong links to textiles as I love to create textures to form a 3D or realistic composition. When I finish A Levels, I want to continue my studies in art to further develop my understanding of different art forms; to later pursue a future career specialising in either graphic design or illustration.

Casey Rigden, Year 12
I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. My grandad was a local artist here in Whitstable and when I was 4 he would take me into his studio and he would paint with me. He sparked my love for art and I have been creating ever since. Lately my work has had a more expressionistic flow to it, conveying a certain emotion to the viewer with carefully chosen colours and brushstrokes. I am inspired by the work of artists like Maggi Hambling and a certain piece by Peder Balke called ‘Stormy Sea’.

Tenecia Thorman-Clune, Year 13
I am 17 years old studying Fine Art A-Level at The Whitstable School. My jump from GCSE Fine Art to A-Level allowed me to become far more expressive in my style. I have been greatly influenced by Frank Auerbach and his use of texture within his pieces. My job in The Pearson’s Arms has inspired me to focus on the dynamics of people in social settings and their individual demeanours. I have found this very interesting, as I have learnt about the people I am surrounded by. In the future, I hope to become Cabin Crew and travel to learn about various cultures.

Lewis Waters, Year 13
After seeing his exhibition in London last year my work has been influenced by the installation artist Olafur Eliasson. I have chosen colour as my personal study topic and pure colour was the first thing I saw as I went into his exhibition.  My project has explored different ways I could add colour to portraits as well as the way that water reflects and captures coloured light. My final outcomes have combined all three of my interests - colour, portraiture and water.

Tyler Spensley, Year 12
From a young age I've always been caught up in the world of art and it has been one of very few things I have felt academically good at. Throughout school I’ve studied art and I’m now currently continuing art at 6th form, however, I’ve never really been involved in photography (apart from photos included in my art) until now. I have recently been introduced to photography and I have really been enjoying the experience of sharing my artistic skills through something new to me. I hope to go on to become a tattoo artist in the future.

Georgina Scanlon, Year 13
I have been studying both Fine Art and Textiles A level at TWS. Within my Fine Art studies I have been exploring the wounded and grotesque. I was inspired by various artists, such as Nychos with his comical dissections of the body to Marlene Dumas with her dark imagery which inspired me to develop my work with darker tones. Within my own Textiles work I have been analysing the history and art of witchcraft. I was inspired by the work of Anne Jackson with her work based around the prosecuting of the women which led to my work on pain, grief and the fear of witches and witchcraft. Witchcraft is a peaceful religion or practice and has been to women and men throughout centuries. In the future I hope to study Art and Acting at University combined to create more elaborate pieces.

Logan Tindell, Year 12
I took the A level Photography course so that I can understand the features on a camera as well as the artistic elements that can be used. In the future I would like to become a filmmaker; creating stories for the silver screen whether they are feature lengths or low budget shorts. Currently, I have two scripts that I’m working on and I hope they will evolve into unique short films that will entertain audiences and influence others who would want to share the same career path. One script in particular is a psychological horror story set in Whitstable during the 1950’s. William Klein is one of my favourite photographers, who recently had his work presented at the Photographer’s Gallery in London in the exhibition titled “Shot in Soho”. As of this moment, I don’t have a particular genre of photography that I specialise in. Throughout the course, I will discover which type of photography I feel comfortable specialising in as well as being familiar with all the elements on a standard camera.

Jaimie-lei Cooper, Year 12
I'm currently studying 3 A-level subjects including English Literature, Health and Social Care and Fine Art. My artist influences include Georgina Luck, Henri Matisse and Christina Drejenstam for both their style and media. I'm hoping to obtain a career involving children, which is why I chose to study Health and Social Care to allow me to have a chance at this and to explore opportunities in this sector.

Phoebe Crocombe, Year 12
Having always been a creative person I’ve always known I would explore an artistic subject. Textiles has allowed me to explore different elements for four years now. I have been given the freedom to discover the techniques I’d like to work with as well as the themes I’d like to explore. So far I’ve looked at portraits, political issues, explored different cultures and now after recently visiting Kew Gardens I’ve been investigating the relationship between plants and structure in my work. I enjoy working with colour as it helps bring pieces to life and I hope to continue my journey with textiles into the future.

Deven Mantle, Year 13
Throughout my A-level art course I have explored Abstract Expressionism and 50s abstract art. I have been greatly inspired by the 50s including fashion and the music of the decade. My family loves the 50s, including living wear, clothes and music, which means I am always around the 50s. We attended different 50s events which allows me to get inspiration for my artwork. Throughout the course I have experimented with different styles and media to recreate 50s inspired art. Robert Motherwell has massively influenced my work as I can see the expression within his pieces. At the end of my course I would like to develop my work to show my true feelings behind my art that everyone will be able to understand. In the future I want to pursue my dreams of becoming a paramedic, to do this I have applied for a Paramedic Science BSc(hons) Degree.

Tom Deed, Year 13
In my work, I try to explore the lives of people, and everything they do, capturing different personalities, and views. The photos I take are all in the candid style, enabling me to capture people acting normally, and not staging the shot, almost in between expressions before they have realised what is happening. My main influences are photographers such as Robert Frank and Dorathea Lange, as they capture the rawness of the streets and the areas around them. In the future, I hope to keep pursuing photography, to eventually make my work available for others to purchase and relate to.

Freya East, Year 13
I am currently studying Textiles, Fine Art and Drama at A level. Within my Textile course I am working on creating fashion influenced by my research into Avant-Garde fashion and Alexander McQueen’s work. The pieces I am making are all based around the theme I have called Inflorescence, which means the whole flower including petals, leaves and roots; it also means how the plant grows. I have been looking at flowers and more recently vines and leaves to inspire my garments. In Fine Art I am looking at crowds of people in busy towns or cities and representing it using mixed media. I have been greatly influenced by L.S Lowry and his explorations of figures within industrial cityscapes. My Fine Art work is mainly focussing on abstraction and expression. I am continuing to study Visual Arts next year at university and have gained a place at UCA.

Grace Smith, Year 13
I have recently been studying and researching a major rising issue; over 50 percent of our coral reefs have died due to pollution, overfishing, climate change and many more will continue to if we don't do something about it! They are crucial to resources such as medicine, jobs, habitats and food, whilst also protect coast lines from the damaging effects of wave action and tropical storms. In my textiles project I have been influenced by designers such as Iris Van Herpen, Issey Miyake and Kelly Bull. I wanted to capture the beauty, fluidity and natural wonders of coral reefs to juxtapose against the destruction and devastation that’s being caused, therefore I decided to create textiles pieces to spread awareness of this concerning matter to help protect and rebuild coral reefs before it’s too late…

Leah Osman, Year 12
I am currently studying three A-levels at The Whitstable School’s Sixth Form including: Fine Art, English literature and Psychology. I have always had a huge passion for art and I enjoy seeing a finished product. Throughout my childhood, I have always loved creating and making anything I could get my hands on from cards, cake and potions to jewellery, artwork and decorations!

At the moment, I mostly enjoy painting my friends and family. Amid my GCSE’s I focussed my journey on ‘my surroundings’ and so my outcome was based around my boyfriend and Harbour Street, Whitstable. In the future, I hope to use my placement skills and perfectionist personality towards working with living spaces and or jewellery.

Orla Preston-Hibbert, Year 12
I am currently taking Textiles at A-level, as I have always had a passion for being creative and I love the freedom textiles gives me to translate a feeling or something I believe in into a piece using many different techniques. Through doing Textiles at GCSE I have found that my motivation for my art comes through the meaning behind my pieces and I seek to create a personal emotional response to the pieces I make. Therefore the inspiration for my work often comes from the people who influence me for example, my friends, family and influential figures.