Level Best: Sunshine Coast

Exhibitions: FREE

Level Best: Sunshine Coast


Saturday 20 January - Sunday 10 March 2024


The dream where I might end up one day, 2022, Henry Linstead. Courtesy Level Best Enterprises

Lucinda Kersley, Castle, 2014. Courtesy Level Best Enterprises

Journey through the Sunshine Coast with Level Best. Experience over one hundred diverse artworks created over the last decade, by artists with additional needs from the Level Best art studio.


Colchester-based social enterprise, Level Best, facilitates crucial work and life experience for people and young adults with learning disabilities through business projects, including art, gardening and cooking.

The art studio is at the heart of Level Best, providing the freedom and space for Level Best trainees to explore their creativity and build valuable skills. Through the support of specially trained staff, trainees are encouraged to unleash their creativity through a variety of media such as drawing, painting, modelling and textiles.

These explorations are unleashed into a colourful and wide range of artworks, and together Firstsite staff, trainees and workshop leaders have selected a diverse range of artworks by trainees, spotlighting a previously unexplored corner of the art world.

The title of the exhibition, “Sunshine Coast,” draws its inspiration from a 2014 commission by a train company, prompting attendees to explore the landscapes and iconography of the East Anglian region. These posters are a highlight of the exhibition, displaying designs that have featured at train stations in Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, Ardleigh and Frinton amongst others.

Alongside the colourful posters, explore pastiches of renaissance paintings, interpretations of masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Bruegel, abstract paintings and watercolours capturing the essence of East Anglia, fluorescent idolizations of motor engines, pop-tastic homages to film culture with nods to Marvel and Disney and bright fantastical forms inspired by popular television, such as Eastenders. 


Artists in this exhibition include Jessica Allum-Brown, Ben Andrew, Stephen Bracey, Sam Carter, Jamie Croft, Stephen D’Avoigne, Andrew Grant, Andrew Gwilt, Saffron Harper, Jessie, Lucinda Kersley, Henry Linstead, John Mansell, Sophie Newberry, Dale Northcott, Grant Owens, Georgia Palmer, Wayne Reece, James Robinson, Ryan Sadler-Smith, Olivia Samson, Connor Sheed, Bernadette Sloman, Melissa Taverner, Laura Thorpe and Angus Wilkinson.

This exhibition has been funded by Arts Council England, Essex County Council and Colchester City Council. The works in this show are available for purchase with the proceeds supporting The Dacon Trust.


About Level Best

Level Best Enterprises, an initiative established by The Dacon Trust, is dedicated to delivering top-notch work and life skills training tailored for individuals with learning disabilities. Located in Colchester, their hub actively engages over 60 trainees through 110 weekly sessions covering cooking, crafting, gardening, and creative activities. The dedicated team of volunteers and trained staff is committed to nurturing independence and creativity, providing valuable work experience opportunities across our various enterprises.

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Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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