Rochester Art Gallery

Rochester Art Gallery features a changing programme of exciting contemporary visual art.

We hold four exhibitions every year which showcase the work of local, regional and international artists.

The gallery has a varied programme which includes curated exhibitions of fine and decorative arts. Recent shows have included textiles, craft, printmaking and painting.

It is free to visit the gallery but you may need to buy tickets for some workshops. Find us on Facebook or Instagram.

Join our e-mailing list for details of exhibition previews, workshops and special events, just click the art gallery option on the list.

Visit Rochester Art Gallery

You can find the gallery in the Medway Visitor Information Centre.

Address: 95 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LX

Opening hours

Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sunday: 10.30am to 5pm
October to March: Closed on Sundays except during special events.


Current exhibition: Flax, Fibres and Plant Dyes

Kent Cloth textile works by Francesca Baur

Francesca Baur artworks4 October 2019 to 4 January 2020

Rochester Art Gallery

Francesca Baur has developed a series of seasonal wall hangings exploring the landscape of Kent for the Kent Cloth Project. As we become increasingly disconnected from the making process through the speed of modern textile production, this project advocates a slower approach to creating natural local textiles with a story that embraces local heritage and landscape. From employing traditional skills and growing the flax for linen, to making natural plant dyes.

The project is a botanical journey from the flax fields of Belgium and Normandy to the White Cliffs of Dover, beginning at the Pines Calyx Garden. This trip around the ‘Garden of England’, references the patterns and forms found in some of the county’s unique locations; meandering hop vines and abundant hedgerows, the bountiful marshes along the Swale estuary at Elmley Nature Reserve, the historic floral gardens of Doddington Place and the luscious fruit trees of the Brogdale Collection.

Participants took part in seasonal walks with Francesca and Fergus Drennan, learning to create materials from the land, paper from fungi and pigments from plant extracts to be used in natural dye and screen-printing workshops. The fascinating story of people, places and processes that conspire to create linen and plant dyes has been captured by filmmaker Kimi Gill. Papers and prints created by some of the Kent Cloth workshop participants will also be on display.

Francesca Baur has been a textile designer and tutor for 25 years. She established Fable & Base in 2015, a textile studio based in Whitstable, producing sustainable, eco-friendly bespoke fabric by the metre.

Free exhibition workshops

Both workshops are now fully subscribed.
Contact us to join the reserve list by phoning 01634 338 319 or emailing arts@medway.gov.uk.

Suitable for adults and accompanied young people aged 11+. Spaces are limited – one workshop per person.

  • Autumn Plant Dye
    Saturday, 26 October, 10.30am to 3.30pm
  • Autumn Botanical Dye Screen-Printing
    Saturday, 16 November, 10.30am to 3.30pm

 

Coming soon: Echoes - Experiments by Zara Carpenter

Photo by Zara Carpenter17 January 2020 to 28 March 2020

Rochester Art Gallery

Multidisciplinary artist Zara Carpenter will show a new body of experimental photographic work. She turns the camera on herself, disrupting the chemistry, creating evocative abstractions. The work is deeply personal yet universal.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a range of activities including a photography workshop, photobook club meet up and a free artist’s talk.

New work created with the support of Arts Council England, Developing Your Creative Practice Grant.


Past exhibitions

Our past exhibitions have included:

  • Bizarre and Curious Silks: Hannah Robson's textiles exhibition challenged the limits imposed by the loom, exploring how threads can escape and disrupt traditional woven construction
  • START: Primary Prints: over 200 children from local schools created prints and other artworks using the treasures at the Guildhall Museum as inspiration
  • Painting with Cloth: Cas Holmes' exhibition 'Painting with Cloth' explored the connection between landscape, people and place. Collecting free material as she goes, Cas creates marks with cloth, paint and stitch
  • Feels Like Forever Ago: showcasing the early work of Daisy Parris and Laurie Vincent. Their work is rooted in a post-punk iconographical collage style, commenting on the social fabric of the world around them
  • Anatomica: Paper Textiles from the Cabinet of Curiosity Studio: showcasing the work of Caroline Collinge, exploring design and visual art in the form of paper textiles and origami
  • Creative Destruction - Volcanoes inspiring art and science: exploring natural materials through sight and touch you will discover how to map out your findings in a field notebook
  • The Medway Print Festival: a festival with over 40 events and activities, showcasing some of the best printmaking being created today and highlighting the fascinating local history of the medium
  • Techno Fossils: Darrell Hawkins explored alternative Kent based ‘monoliths and monuments’ – overlooked, forgotten or obsolete structures across Kent that shape its current identity
  • Margo Selby: Pick by Pick: showcasing a colourful exhibition of hand-woven framed textiles
  • Pigmental: an exhibition of paintings by Karl Bielik
  • Of Fireships and Iron: showcasing the work of 5 Medway based artists pushing the boundaries of contemporary printmaking