Sidney Cooper Gallery



Admission is free, unless stated otherwise.


To book places for free events, please phone the gallery on (01227) 453267 or email


Payments can be made in person at the gallery with cash, card, or by cheque (payable to Canterbury Christ Church University). Alternatively, cheques may be posted to Sidney Cooper Gallery, St Peter's Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BQ. Please include your name, contact details, and the name and date of the event you wish to attend.

Ian Wiblin

Wednesday 5th February, 4.15 - 5.30pm

Making a case for Michelangelo Antonioni as a Structural/Materialist filmmaker

Public Information Night

Friday 7th February, 7.30 - 8.30pm

An evening of public information films hosted by Andy Birtwistle, Ben Rowley and guests, with live narration, sound effects and musical realisation.

Nonsense Syllables: Rob Mullender

Wednesday 12th February, 4.15 – 5.30pm

In this seminar/performance Dr Rob Mullender (musician/sound artist) will look at sound poetry and why such practices are thought of as ‘experimental’.

Rob Mullender

                Rob Mullender

Reading Series: Jane Thynne

Wednesday 12th February, doors open 5.30pm, 6 - 7pm

Reading Series

Jane will read from her second novel, The Winter Garden.

Now in its third year, this series of public readings celebrates and encourages creativity in writing.

Enjoy the gallery's current exhibition with a glass of wine before the event begins.

Scratch OrchestraScratch Orchestra

Friday 14th February, doors open 6pm, performance 6.30 – 7.30pm

The Canterbury Scratch Orchestra is a student collective interested in an open approach to improvising music .


White Cube / Dark Cube: Experimental Film and the Gallery

Wednesday 19th February 9.30am – 5pm, 35 / 25 students (inc. lunch)

Since the 1990s film and video have become common features of the gallery environment. However, while what is now termed ‘artists’ film and video’ has thrived within the white cube, and while 16mm film projection has survived thanks almost entirely to the gallery, experimental film and video makers have witnessed a decline in opportunities to show work on cinema screens, or to have their work broadcast on television. Meanwhile the growth of the internet has provided some film and video makers with an alternative means by which to reach audiences outside of the gallery.

Although critics such as Chrissie Iles have seen the environment of the white cube as a liberation from the ‘restrictions’ of traditional cinema (“Cinema becomes a cocoon, inside which a crowd of relaxed idle bodies is fixed, hypnotized by simulations of reality projected onto a single screen”), what is lost and what is gained when experimental film is shown outside the dark cube – the environment in which it first developed and once thrived?

This one-day conference explores the migration of art film and video to the gallery, and seeks to consider how the white cube has impacted upon the changing dynamics of experimental filmmaking in the 21st century.

Speakers include:

  • Prof. Chris Meigh-Andrews, University of Central Lancashire & University of the West of England
  • Dr Glyn Davis, University of Edinburgh
  • Sarah Durcan, NCAD Dublin & Birkbeck, University of London
  • Ashitha Nagesh, Visual Arts Journalist, ARTINFO UK
  • Prof. Steve Hawley, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr. Marco Grosoli, University of Kent
  • Hala Georges, University for the Creative Arts, Maidstone
  • Cathy Rogers, Research Candidate, Royal College of Art
  • Sonia McNally, Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Signe Kassow, Production Coordinator, Danish Film Institute

To purchase a ticket please follow this link

Film Open

Thursday 20th - Saturday 22nd February, 10.30am – 5pm

We are delighted to be hosting the inaugural Sidney Cooper Film Open which is a three day screening of works selected to showcase contemporary short film and video in its widest context.

Archive Screening

Wednesday 26th February, 6 - 7.30pm, 5 on the door

Tim Jones, Senior Lecturer from the Department of Media, Art and Design, will be screening a selection of the best clips taken from his Canterbury archive film screenings last spring.

Reading Series: Danny Rhodes and Katherine May

Wednesday 26th March, doors open 5.30pm, 6 - 7pm

Reading Series

Two Kent based writers read from their work.

Now in its third year, this series of public readings celebrates and encourages creativity in writing.

Enjoy the gallery's current exhibition with a glass of wine before the event begins.


Drawing Workshops: Examining Contemporary Drawing

Wednesday 9th - Friday 11th April, 10am - 4pm, 150 / 120 concessions

The course is designed to widen and deepen the practice of drawing using practical and theoretical approaches of the conceptual frameworks utilised by the exhibitors in the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013. These works represent a cross-section of contemporary practice across the UK art scene, and this enables an in-depth appreciation of current issues in drawing.

 Delivered by Charles Williams, this is a three-day course which will take place in the Sidney Cooper Drawing Studios and will include a guided tour of the exhibition.

All sessions 10am - 4pm, with a one hour lunch break.

Charles Williams

                                     Charles Williams

Drawing - A New Experience

Saturday 19th April, two sessions, 10am - 12.30pm or 1.30 - 4pm,

15 / 6 under 16s

Using the Jerwood Drawing prize Exhibition as inspiration, use a concertina book format to describe a story, journey or experience. A consideration of the range of drawing in the exhibition will be followed by the opportunity to create a mixed media book which could include collage and text. Participants will be encouraged to view their project as a process linking themes and ideas, leading to a coherent work. All ages and abilities welcome.

Ruth McDonald

     Moonlit Woodland Journey Ruth McDonald

Cloud / Cuckooland Launch Event

Friday 2nd May, 6 - 8pm

Janek Schaefer

             Janek Schaefer portrait Janek Covers          

Cloud / Cuckooland is an exciting new exhibition which forms part of the 2014 Sounds New Festival. Looking into Canterbury Sound, in particular the work of Robert Wyatt, whose Cuckooland album has been used as a point of reference, the exhibition will include Radio Daze, a new sound installation created specifically for the exhibition by Janek Schaefer, one of the UK’s most distinctive sound artists. The exhibition will also include artwork from Sam Bailey’s Piano in the Woods residency and works by Canterbury Christ Church University Sound Art students.

Printing and Binding Workshop: Create your own Bookwork

Monday 5th May, 10.30am - 4.30pm, 15 / 12 concessions


In this workshop led by book artist Sarah Bryant and printmaker Anna Fewster, you'll design, print and fabricate your own bookwork, learning techniques used in the artists' latest collaborative project, 'The Leap of Death'. 


The session will introduce the processes of 'trace monotype' and letterpress printing, guiding you through the creation of unique images and hand-set text. You'll then learn how to use simple folding and binding techniques to incorporate this printed matter into an original bookwork that you can display at the 'Leap of Death' project launch event the following evening! 


This workshop is great for those ages 15+ with an interest in books, publishing, art, and craft. 






Reading Series: Students on the CCCU MA in Creative Writing

Wednesday 28th May, doors open 6pm, 6.30 - 7.30pm

Chaired by Programme Director Tibor Fischer


                             Kellie Hogben             

Students from Canterbury Christ Church University's MA in Creative Writing will read extracts from their prose fiction, offering a wide and wonderful range of styles and voices.

Now in its fourth year, this series of public readings celebrates and encourages creativity in writing.

Enjoy the gallery's current exhibition with a glass of wine before the event begins.

Reading Series: Simon Ings

Wednesday 11th June, doors open 6pm, 6.30 - 7.30pm

Reading Series

Simon Ings is the last author in the current season of Writing Comes Alive. He is the author of eight novels and two works of non-fiction. His debut novel Hot Head (just re-published this year) was widely acclaimed. He writes nonfiction for Faber, contributes to New Scientist, and is editor of ARCFINITY Magazine. He was born in 1965 and lives in London. His writing is 'modern science fiction in full pomp: it has a multitude of ideas, a wide-ranging narrative, an almost unbelievably ambitious casting of its net, taking one narrative chance after another. It is also...beautifully written...full of colour and inventive image.' (Christopher Priest)

Now in its fourth year, this series of public readings celebrates and encourages creativity in writing.

Enjoy the gallery's current exhibition with a glass of wine before the event begins.


Conference: (New) Perspectives on Seaside Photography


Thursday 10th - Friday 11th July, 9.30am - 5pm

66 / 40 students / 55 day rate (Thursday only)


This conference explores seaside photography in its very broadest sense and provides an exciting critical space for debate and enquiry: the seaside as boundary between different environments; its location in contemporary photographic practice; seaside photography in an historical context, including class, gender issues and youth; the vernacular; the demotic; regeneration and the rise of leisure as captured in seaside imagery etc.


Day 1 takes place at the Sidney Cooper Gallery.

Day 2 takes place at Turner Contemporary, Margate.

Transportation will be provided for all speakers and delegates.


Confirmed Speakers:

The conference responder is Professor Val Williams (Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at the University of the Arts in London)


For more information, and to book, please visit:


Exhibition Talk and Tour

Saturday 19th July, 2.00 - 3.30pm

At this Exhibition Talk and Tour, Karen Shepherdson (Director of the South East Archive of Seaside Photography) will provide insight into the exhibition, Beyond the View - Reframing the Sunbeam Photographic Collection. She will discuss specific key images within the Sunbeam Collection and provide information on the work-practices of the men and women who produced this significant body of work.


Beyond the View

E. Spencer