Rochester Art Gallery

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Rochester Art Gallery and the Medway Visitor Information Centre re-opened on Tuesday 7 July.

Our opening hours are: Tuesday to Saturday - 10am to 5pm

When visiting our buildings please follow social distancing guidance.

More coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

About 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

Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm

Current exhibitions

Echoes - Experiments by Zara Carpenter

Date: The gallery and this exhibition re-opened on 7 July. It will remain on show until at least the end of July.

For the last two years Zara Carpenter has been examining her experience of past trauma and how its echoes have come to manifest themselves as physical pain. 

Zara takes photographs of her body using analogue cameras. She then experiments using different materials and techniques to disrupt the image and its chemistry, damaging the emulsion to create abstractions. Only ghosts remain of what would have been.

The experimental, destructive process is initiated by hand, yet the results are beyond human control. By submitting to chaos Zara becomes free from constraints. By harnessing mistakes she has found a place where control and chance collide. 

Images of her body metamorphose into landscapes, coastlines, weather fronts, fossils dug from the earth, or distant nebulae. Photo by Zara Carpenter

The act of creating these images has allowed Zara to process and understand her past, to sit with it, bring it to the surface and exorcise it from her into the images she makes. An act of catharsis. An act of healing. 

Zara Carpenter is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist. In 2017 Zara co-founded the ACE-funded arts project SICK! Living With Invisible Illness

To accompany the exhibition, essays have been written by online curator and writer Stephen Ellcock and Dr Nick Fallon, a neuroscientist, pain researcher and lecturer at the University of Liverpool. These will be available on our website and to pick up in the gallery. 

The work in this exhibition has been created with the support of Arts Council England, Developing Your Creative Practice Grant. 

Installation of the large wall piece was kindly supported by Westbury Signs.

Upcoming exhibitions

The Last Dream of My Soul – Dickens 150 Print Open Call Exhibition

Date: This exhibition has been temporarily postponed and will still take place in future. The dates are to be confirmed.

A special exhibition of printmaking on the theme of Death, Dickens and Drood, to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens.

More about The Last Dream of My Soul exhibition

Winning Mystery of Edwin Drood book cover



The winning Mystery of Edwin Drood cover linocut print by Neil Mattingly.

All that Remains: Thirty Years in the Making by Neil Bottle

Date: This exhibition has been temporarily postponed and will still take place in future. The dates are to be confirmed.

This new body of work, first shown at Contemporary Applied arts and the Ruthin Craft Centre celebrates Neil’s 30 years as a textile designer.

Neil’s fascinating textile hangings are inspired by family photographs, a sense of time passing and how we remember things – in both real and false memories.

The textile prints are accompanied by personal, sentimental objects that were the starting point for many of the stories Neil is telling.

More about the All that Remains exhibition

All that remains Neil bottle

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
  • Flax, Fibres and Plant Dyes: exploring the landscape of Kent for the Kent Cloth Project by Francesca Baur