Our past exhibitions have included:
- Upon the High Street: an ongoing photography project shot in collaboration with award-winning Medway-raised photographers Joshua Atkins and Daniel Loveday.
- Seaplane Works - Short Brothers in Rochester: 2023 marked the 75th anniversary of the Short Brothers factory closing in Rochester. This exhibition celebrated the skill and creativity of a remarkable workforce.
- Two Seas - Reem Acason: A multi-disciplinary artist who’s
work explores her mixed British Bahraini heritage, alongside cultural and ecological legacies relating to the sea. Coastal areas are politically, socially and ecologically charged spaces, inextricably connected to maritime history, movement, trade and migration. ‘Two Seas’ included painted self-portraits, prints, film and a boat installation as well as objects belonging to the artist alongside those kindly loaned by the Guildhall Museum representing a flowing together of identities, histories and views of the world, contrasting cultures which ultimately overlap and connect.
Part of the Shubbak Festival of Arab Culture.
- UCA - A Retrospective: Creativity past, present and future: The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Rochester has been based in Medway for over 130 years and has been known for its trademark cutting edge style. This special exhibition celebrated the legacy and creativity that has flourished at this renowned institution, bringing together the work of over 40 artists and makers. These were shown alongside works from iconic fashion designer University Chancellor Emeritus Dame
Zandra Rhodes, fashion designer Wendy Dagworthy OBE, jeweller Stephen Webster MBE and artist Billy Childish.
- The Ghosts of Other Things: Art, Archaeology and The Rochester Airport Archaeological Dig: The site of Canterbury Archaeological Trust’s dig, the starting point for this exhibition, lies
within an area of human activity spanning thousands of years. Evidence from the site forms part of Rochester’s story and links to the broad patterns, connections and significances of history. This exhibition, created by Bryan Hawkins in partnership with the Canterbury Archaeological Trust and Rochester Art Gallery, brought together art, archaeology and archive material linked to the site.
- Unpicking Places: Ways of Making by Christopher Tipping: Artist Christopher Tipping has collaborated and delivered creative projects in urban public spaces
for over 30 years. This exhibition, with thanks to IP Surfaces, brings together a range of both his conceptual and completed work that respond to the theme of place. Most notably, it includes a range of recent and current commissions undertaken across Medway’s flagship waterfront developments.
- Entangled Realms - 15 Years of Printmaking by Jane Furst: The enigmatic works of painter and printmaker Jane Furst are visual explorations drawing on her fascination with natural form and an early passion for both art and science. She has an
interest in exploring metaphor and metaphysical ideas and is obsessed with the hidden nature and mysterious connection between diverse subjects.
- Unknown Soldier - works by David Tovey: David Tovey is a formerly homeless artist, educator, activist and ex-soldier. Raw,
uncompromising, and thought provoking, the exhibition explored questions highlighting the struggles that people face when they leave the armed forces. The show included paintings, photographs, memorabilia, film, installation and performance that documented David’s journey, as well as which embraced the wider issues associated with homelessness in all its forms.
- All that Remains - Thirty Years in the Making by Neil Bottle: This exhibition explored family stories, nostalgia and memories using exquisitely layered, cutting-edge digital design and precious fragments of the artists archive of family photographs. The result was an autobiographical narrative printed onto cloth. It drew on memory - both real and imagined - in which physical photographic prints and digitally captured images were deconstructed and re-presented. The exhibition celebrated Neil’s 30 years as a textiles practitioner and was a milestone, unconfined by the constraints of the artist's commercial fashion print work.
- The Last Dream of My Soul – Dickens 150 Print Open Call Exhibition: Dickens 150 Print Open Call Exhibition', was postponed several times due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions and finally opened in June 2021 bringing together the beautiful and
varied work of 46 printmakers from all over the UK created especially for the exhibition. The show explored death in Dickens’ life and novels, and his long association with Medway. It included 100 new prints and delved into the Victorian obsession with mourning etiquette with unseen Victorian funerary treasures loaned from the Guildhall Museum collection.
- Pattern and Beyond by University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Rochester: showcased work by over 20 students on the BA Fashion Textiles and MA Printed Textiles for Fashion and Interiors courses at UCA
Rochester. The wide variety of art on show reflected the diversity of students and the amazing opportunities available at UCA. The student designers created some beautiful pieces that stand out from the crowd as they launch into the constantly evolving fashion industry.
- Out of Sight Not Out of Mind: showcased work created by people with sight loss, making art work at home in Medway. The project was led by Wendy Daws, MESS ROOM and Peer Arts who worked with this often hidden community to share their voices and creative talents and show that people's creative lives continue during lockdown. #OutOfSightNotOutOfMind2020.
- Explore and Draw - Art in Lockdown: showed over 150 artworks by 88
'Explore & Draw' members created during lockdown via online classes. A celebration of the power of creativity to excite, unite and inspire, the show included work inspired by home, nature, spirituality and personal responses to the pandemic.
- Echoes - Experiments by Zara Carpenter: Echoes looked at the artists experience of past trauma and how its echoes have come to manifest themselves as physical pain, using photographs of her body using analogue cameras and experiments to disrupt the image and its chemistry to create abstractions.
- 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.
- Two Seas by Reem Acason: a celebration of cross pollination between cultures, the sharing of technology, science, knowledge, literature and art.