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Ashford School student wins in United Learning’s International Art Competition

Date Posted: Monday 08 March 2021

Anthony, a Year 12 Art student at Ashford School, has been selected as the runner-up in the United Learning annual Art Competition. His winning artwork will be displayed at the National Art Centre in Tokyo, Japan, representing the United Kingdom in the celebrated International High School Arts Festival from 4 to 15 August 2021.

Anthony shared his inspiration for his artwork: “My piece is titled ‘Software’ and it represents how technology is at the forefront of modern-day thinking. This is obviously shown in science, with technological advancements being made each day, simply due to the human thirst for more technology. It is shown by the younger generation as technology plays a massive part in their life. A lot of their thinking is based on what to post on social media, what website to shop on, or searching for help with homework online. Hence why I called the piece ‘Software’ and put the phones around the head as it demonstrates how technology is essentially the mainframe in the thinking of the younger generation.”

This year’s professional artists involved in the judging were Francesca Skelhorn and Meha Hindocha.

"Meha’s comments on Anthony’s artwork were indicative of the talent he displays: Great portrait set on a really playful background. The focal point of the eyes works really well too. There's something really interesting about this piece that kept bringing my attention back to it."

Headmaster of Ashford School, Mr Michael M. Hall, said: “We are so proud of Anthony’s achievement! To be placed in the top four out of 31 high-calibre entries is a fantastic accomplishment. We look forward to watching this young man’s art career go from strength to strength.”

Now in its 13th year, this national competition encourages students aged between 15 and 18 to develop their creativity, imagination and artistic talents by creating and submitting an original piece of artwork. Students have full artistic license to draw, print or paint whoever or whatever inspires them. The only requirements are that their piece is flat and has maximum dimensions of 1x1m.

This year, entries were put before three virtual audiences – social media, the Group’s art teachers and Executive Team, as well as a panel of professional artists. Each judging audience was asked to vote for their favourite pieces, making up various percentages of the final score awarded to each entry.

Judging took place in four stages:

  1. All submissions were photographed and posted onto the dedicated Facebook and Instagram pages. Staff, students and members of the general public were able to ‘Like’ their favourite submissions. This counted for 25% of the final score given to each piece.
  2. United Learning Executive Team and Art teachers across the group had their own vote which counted for 25% of the overall score.
  3. A panel of independent artists were invited to an online judging session and discussion of the artwork, providing feedback and comments. The artists ranked their top 10 pieces according to their artistic merit. This made up the final 50% of the score.

To see all the entries, visit or