Fashion / North Bristol Post 16

Young Bristolian artists put on a show to remember

By emma gorton ellicott, Tuesday Sep 5, 2017

A group of emerging young artists from the North Bristol Post-16 Centre exhibited a creative display of contemporary textiles, art and photography for their End of Show extravaganza at Centrespace Gallery. A very friendly and enthusiastic Maddie Rees tells Bristol24/7 how the exhibition went.

“The show went really well,” says Maddie. “The work was so varied – we didn’t expect it to all come together, but it did! Everyone put so much work in throughout the year and for the show, so it was super rewarding. Being at North Bristol Post-16 has really encouraged us to find our own voices in what we create, and having a chance to see all the work together really highlighted the variety in what we’ve created.”

Artworks by Charlie Osborne and Gulliver Whitby

From abstract photography to contemporary and forward-thinking fashion, textiles and artworks in pastels and pencil, it’s hard to believe that all of these thought-provoking pieces were created by artists who are still in their teens, as part of their final projects.

“There were a selection of themes,” says Maddie. “The theme was completely up to our own interpretation, which made the show really interesting, and although a lot of us had the same starting point, the outcomes were completely different.

“I chose ‘folded’ for my project theme. I approached it by looking at the shapes of folds in materials and how the human body creates folds in garments, so for my final piece I wanted to use the shape of the garment and the model to distort it and create new shapes.”

Maddie Rees

When asked what inspires her work Maddie says, “I’m very inspired by Dadaism and designers like Charles Jeffery and Comme des Garcons. I wanted to create something weird and abstract and kind of just stupid.”

Maddie’s final creation is inspiring and really fashion-forward in the styling. You can definitely see the sculptural influences of Comme des Garcons, and the whole idea of the garment’s shape changing as the wearer moves around is brilliant.

With its on-trend monochrome, Memphis-inspired graphics and oversized cut, this garment is wearable, street style-inspired, high-fashion, and a work of art, all at the same time.

Joy Bailey

With most of the students, including Maddie, continuing in the creative sector on local art foundation courses in Bristol, Bath and Weston-super-Mare, we can only hope that these young artists will emerge into the Bristol creative scene over the next few years.

Romano Navari

“I think we’re ridiculously lucky to have the creative scene we have here in Bristol,” says Maddie. “We have access to so much: performance art, art fairs, an insane music scene, exhibitions and lots of great art organisations targeted at young people. I think having access to so much has really shaped what we create.”

North Bristol Post-16 is a learning centre for the Redland and Cotham communities in Bristol.
Charnwood House, 30 Cotham Park,Bristol, BS6 6BU. For more information, visit

Read our Fashion Editor, Emma Gorton-Ellicott’s blog


Read more: Fashion on the front line

Latest articles