Rochester Art Gallery

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

We hold four to five exhibitions every year which showcase the work of local, regional and international artists. Work ranges from fine art, to digital media, to performance art and film.

Visit Rochester Art Gallery

It is free to visit the gallery but you may need to buy tickets for some talks and workshops. If you would like to be sent arts news and events you can join our mailing list by contacting us on 01634 338 319 or by emailing

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

Flax, fibres and plant dyes exhibition leaflet

4 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 the ArtsTeam to join the reserve list. Phone 01634 338 319 or email

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

17 January 2020 to 28 March 2020

Echoes is a beautiful exhibition of deeply personal experimental photos by multi-disciplinary artist Zara Carpenter. Zara turns the camera on herself, disrupting the chemistry, creating evocative abstractions. 

Recent exhibitions

Bizarre and Curious Silks: Textiles by Hannah Robson

5 July 2019 to 21 Sep 2019

Rochester Art Gallery and Huguenot Museum (upstairs above the gallery)

Hannah Robson challenges the limits imposed by the loom, exploring how threads can escape and disrupt traditional woven construction, she often combines weaving with lace-making or basketry techniques to create technically ambitious sculptural forms. Bizarre and Curious Silks is a joint exhibition with The Huguenot Museum, where Hannah will present new work inspired by the textile heritage of the Huguenots and Spitalfields silks. Part of the Gallerys 'Three Threads' textile season.

Supported by Arts Council England, David Walters Fabrics Ltd, The Worshipful Company of Weavers & Medway Arts Development

Artwork by Hannah Robson ersilia

Past exhibitions

Our past exhibitions have included:

  • 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