FOR the last year they have honed their artistic talents, spending hours studying influential artists and photographers as they seek ideas and inspiration.

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Now the 70 photographic and art and design students on GCSE and A-level courses at the £25m Lowestoft Sixth College are proudly putting their own creations on display.

And visitors to the college could be forgiven for doing a double take when they see the exhibition in the building’s atrium – as it features a gold toilet, a washing line and “ripped up” faces.

Using a theme of the “best and worst encounters”, “experiences” and “meetings” the students have created some thought provoking and very personal works, which all feature within their exam portfolios.

In an emotional tribute to her late father Mark, AS-level student Charlotte Franklin, 17, has made a series of boxes featuring photographs of things that were important to him, such as his boat at Pakefield.

Charlotte, who hopes to go continue her studies at art college, said: “I wanted to create something that represented my dad. I am very proud of it. I have really enjoyed the course so far – it is excellent.”

One of the most unusual items in the exhibition is a gold toilet bowl, created in just 10 hours by AS-level student Bethany Covill, who said her artwork was based on the power of importance and the throne.

Bethany, 16, told The Journal: “I really enjoyed making it and being able to exhibit it is great. I have really enjoyed the last year, the lecturers have been brilliant.”

Another eye-catching display has been created by Amber Gibbs, 17, who drew on her experiences of having a twin sister, Opal, to produce her work which features a washing line with duplicate clothes on, and a clock showing the times they were born.

Amber said: “Having a twin is the greatest experience of my life so that is why I did this. I hope people enjoy seeing it.”

The display also features graffiti art, sculptures, and a variety of photographs including several of Lowestoft Town footballers in action and one of a body print – created by the artist rolling on photographic paper.

Photographic lecturer Lee Slaymaker, who is in his first teaching job, said: “As you can see we have had some really, really good pieces this year.

“I would go so far to say that all the students have actually excelled themselves.

“It has been a wonderful year – and for me personally it has been a real privilege and a pleasure to able to teach at such a fantastic college with wonderfully creative students.”

His comments were echoed by art lecturer Sally Hirst.

She said: “This has been our first cohort of students and I have been tremendously impressed by them. The students have been a real joy to teach. They have been tenacious, dedicated and very professional in their attitude.”

●To find out more about studying at Lowestoft Sixth Form College, visit www.lowestoftsfc.ac.uk

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