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A student at Maidstone Girls Grammar School is celebrating her success in winning this year’s Bridge Wardens’ Art Prize.

The competition, which is run by the Rochester Bridge Trust, saw Isabelle Lush take the top prize with her entry on the theme of ‘Crossing the Medway’. Isabelle’s portrayal of Maidstone Bridge at night took the top award, with judges describing it as ‘very forceful’ and ‘full of passion’.

Entries, which could be in the form of paintings, drawings, photography, or other 2-D medium, were judged by a panel of experts chaired by Professor Alan Cummings, Pro Rector of the Royal College of Art, and marked against criteria that included originality, technical execution and response to the brief.

Second prize went to Sophie Hunt, also from Maidstone Girls Grammar School, and Brandon Miles, from Blue Skies School, Rochester, came third. Other finalists and category awards winners were: Tim Filmer, Blue Skies School; George Clarke, Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School; Anastasia Voznesenskaya, Cobham Hall; Josephine King, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School; Bethany Morse-Wolfe, Maidstone Grammar School for Girls; Lydia Porter, Maidstone Girls Grammar School; Charles Conway, Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School; and Jamie Morice-Jones, Blue Skies School.

“As someone who works with people who are in the final stages of embarking on their professional careers, I take great pleasure in seeing the work of young people who are beginning to shape their artistic visions and the wonderful work that they are producing,” said Professor Cummings. “The students in this competition produced some very impressive pieces whether in terms of control of the medium they were using or their response to the brief. Isabelle did very well to win her award.”

The other members of the judging panel were: Sarah Cove, a conservator of paintings, Pat Cove, textile artist, and Dr Anne Logan, Senior Warden of the Rochester Bridge Trust.

Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk of the Rochester Bridge Trust, said: “This, our second art award, was organised to recognise the artistic abilities of young people across Kent and Medway. Isabelle’s winning entry will now be displayed in the permanent Rochester Bridge art collection, alongside works by John Hopper and JMW Turner. As the Trust founded Maidstone Girls Grammar School in 1887, we are particularly delighted that pupils from the school have entered the competition and done so well.”

Rochester Bridge Trust owns and maintains the two road bridges and a service bridge over the River Medway at Rochester and also supports numerous community and education projects across the county. The Rochester Bridge Trust provided a major part of the funding for the construction of Maidstone Bridge and its widening in the early 20th century.

Notes to editors:

1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125

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