Rochester Art Gallery

About Rochester Art Gallery

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

We hold 4 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.

Visit Rochester Art Gallery

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

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

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

Follow Rochester Art Gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

Current exhibition

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

Date: 9 October 2021 to 15 January 2022

Preview: Friday 8 October 6.30pm to 8.30pm, all welcome.

This exhibition explores family stories, nostalgia and memories using exquisitely layered, cutting-edge digital design and precious fragments of the artists archive of family photographs.

The result is an autobiographical narrative printed onto cloth. It draws on memory - both real and imagined - in which both physical photographic prints and digitally captured images are deconstructed and re-presented. 

The exhibition celebrates Neil’s 30 years as a textiles practitioner and acts as a milestone, unconfined by the constraints of the artist's commercial fashion print work.

Neil Bottle is the programme director printed textiles for fashion and interiors at UCA. This exhibition was formerly shown at Contemporary Applied Arts and the Ruthin Craft Centre.

All that remains sml

All that remains

Upcoming exhibitions

'Unknown Soldier' works by David Tovey 

Date: 27 January 2022 to 16 April 2022

David Tovey is a formerly homeless artist, educator, activist and ex-soldier.

This exhibition explores the deep-rooted questions of why life falls apart for so many ex-soldiers, leading to mental health problems, homelessness, and for some suicide. Raw, uncompromising, and sometimes brutal, the show has been 29 years in the making and poses deep questions, highlighting the struggles that people face when they leave the armed forces.

The show will include paintings, photographs, memorabilia, film and performance that documents David’s journey. At the heart of his practice is a very special quality: the ability to bring you to the subject in beautiful and hard-hitting ways, to raise awareness about the social issues he tackles. 

David speaks regularly at housing and homelessness events. He has exhibited widely including at the ASTA Festival in Montreal, Tate Modern, and Tate Liverpool. He is the founder of the UK’s ‘One Festival of Homeless Arts’. 

‘New work by David Tovey’

New work by David Tovey

Past exhibitions

Our past exhibitions have included:

  • 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 CarpenterEchoes 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.