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Artist in Residence to host first exhibition, ‘In A While’

Date Posted: Tuesday 10 January 2023

Ashford School students are benefitting from the opportunity of working alongside professional artist Stephen Foy-Philp, as he joins the school as Artist in Residence for the year. Stephen hosts regular workshops, talks and masterclasses for our students in his dedicated studio space within the Senior School art department.

Stephen’s work has been exhibited at the Turner Contemporary as part of the CVAN Platform Graduate Award in 2017, along with Untitled BCN Gallery in Barcelona. More recently, Stephen took part in a duo show as part of the Folkestone triennial called ‘You Didn’t Go Up There To Fish’, hosted at the Brewery Tap project space.

Recently, Stephen’s work has centered around a crocodile man character who moves through many different situations and transformations across the body of work.

‘I treat the painting and their exhibition as separate parts of my practice and enjoy the latter as a way to draw out the themes explored throughout the paintings. This is something that Art has been doing forever in more experimental forms and I have found that my take on this is to make playful pairings between my pictures and the space they are in, along with found objects.’

‘This process on the whole fluctuates between the leaking of the picture plane into the space and then emphasising the more traditionally pictorial nature of other pieces, creating a blurred line between the viewer and the contents of the work. Thus, encouraging interaction through references shared between the pieces.’

‘My time at Ashford School as Artist in Residence has allowed me to really get to grips with my painting in a way that would have been unthinkable outside of this amazing opportunity. The support I have been given throughout my interactions within the school, mainly from the fantastic Art department, has been an incredible setting for my ongoing work and I feel incredibly lucky to have this position. Having this time and space to focus on my practice is such a gift and I truly relish the residency.’

Stephen will be hosting his first exhibition as Ashford School’s Artist in Residence from 1 – 7 February at Coachworks, Dover Place, Ashford. ‘In A While’ will showcase Stephen’s recent work, in addition to a number of pieces produced by the Art scholars and students at Ashford School.

Of the exhibition, Stephen said: ‘I am very much looking forward to ‘In A While’. I feel the show has represented an opportunity to create an unconventional exhibition that allows the Art scholars to stretch their creative legs in a prominent public setting. The work plays with the venue in a way that pushes the paintings out of frames and into the space.’

Stephen is Ashford School’s 7th Artist in Residence and takes over from Royal Academy exhibited artist Sophie Bedingham Smith. The Artist in Residence programme is one strand of Ashford School’s strategy to inspire senior students to think independently, to be freely creative and to develop key skills for success in their future education.

For more information on the opportunities available for students studying art at Ashford School, please contact Nicole Rayner, Head of Art (