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.

The gallery is open Tuesdays - Fridays 10.30am - 5pm, and Saturdays 11.30am - 5pm. The gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and in between exhibitions. Please check on the Exhibitions pages for dates.

Lecture Series

Colour Theory: Monday 13th October, 5 - 7pm, £6

Organic Abstraction: Monday 20th October, 5 - 7pm, £6

Geometric Abstraction: Monday 3rd November, 5 - 7pm, £6

John Copnall, Big Yellow

John Copnall, Big Yellow no.3 (1974) Acrylic on canvas. © the artist, courtesy the artists estate

These lectures provide an introduction to the basic principles of abstract art and colour theory. They aim to enrich the student’s gallery experience and understanding of modernism. The lectures refer to paintings from European and American art movements and explain the underlying ideas and complex of influences.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

Special offer:

Attend our three day Radical Painting course (£160 / £130) and gain admission to these lectures for free.

Reading Series: Lawrence Norfolk

Wednesday 15th October, doors open 6pm, 6.30 - 7pm

Lawrence NorfolkLawrence Norfolk is the author of four historical novels. He is the winner of the Somerset Maugham Award and the Budapest Festival Prize for Literature. Lemprière’s Dictionary, his first novel was published in 1991 and in 1993 he was listed as one of Granta magazine’s Twenty Best of Young British Writers. John Saturnall’s Feast his fourth novel was published in 2012 which tells the story of a cook in seventeenth century England. 

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

Workshops: Radical Painting

Saturday 18th October, Saturday 25th October and Saturday 1st November, 10.30am - 4pm, £160 / £130 concessions

Abstract Formalism, the radical, super-simplified abstract painting style of British Artists like John Copnall and, among others, John Hoyland, Gillian Ayres and John Maclean, was characterized by a rigorously reductive approach - the central question seems to have been ‘what can we get rid of next?’ - but, for some viewers at least, it produced paintings joyous in their freedom, paintings like visual music, liberated from tradition and the constraints of the past. 

Charles Williams, painter, writer and lecturer on the Fine and Applied Art degree at CCCU, will lead a three day workshop exploring the principles of three important influences that shaped British Abstract Formalism; Joseph Albers' work on colour at the Black Mountain College in the USA, Basic Design, and the Bauhaus, as well as looking at the art historical context in a more general way. The sessions will take place in the Painting Studios in the Sidney Cooper Centre, behind the Sidney Cooper Gallery. Expect to be challenged.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

Charles Williams

Special offer:

Attendees of this course will get free admission to our Monday Night Lecture Series (usual price £6). From 5 - 7pm on subsequent Mondays, these lectures provide an introduction to the basic principles of abstract art and colour theory. John Copnall, Big Yellow

Monday 13th October: Colour Theory

Monday 20th October: Organic Abstraction

Monday 3rd November: Geometric Abstraction

Robert Stillman: BROADSTAIRS

Friday 24th October, 6.30 - 7.30pm

'Broadstairs' is a suite for solo saxophone written for Robert Stillman by U.S. composer Chris Weisman. Based upon a compositional approach developed in his book 'Non-musical patterns and their musical uses', Weisman's bold, characterful pieces make a perfect platform point for Stillman's exploration of the tenor saxophone's vocal qualities. 

Robert Stillman

Scratch Orchestra

Friday 31st October, 6.30 - 7.30pm

Scratch Orchestra

The Canterbury Scratch orchestra is a student collective interested in an open approach to improvising music. The orchestra's previous performances have involved responding to drawings, working with film-makers and poets and collaborating with a diverse collection of musicians and laptop artists. The ensemble's work centres around people and play and at its heart lays john Steven's belief that “music making involves practising an alternate society".

Drawing Days at the Sidney Cooper Gallery with Roy Eastland

Saturday 15th November, Saturday 22nd November and Saturday 29th November, 10.30am - 4pm, £160 / £130 concessions

Roy Eastland (exhibiting artist) will lead a workshop focusing on Life Drawing as a way to explore the act of Drawing.  Part of the session will include a discussion about his approach to the Art of Drawing and about his work in the current exhibition.  The Drawing session will include a mix of short drawing exercises as well as a series of longer drawings.  He will show a number of his sketchbooks.  The sessions will take place in the Painting Studios in the Sidney Cooper Centre, behind the Sidney Cooper Gallery.

Roy Eastland has a particular interest, and expertise, in Drawing.  He has exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions including: The Jerwood Drawing Prize, The BP Portrait Award, The Drawing Room (The Beaney), the Turner Contemporary Open, Telling Stories: Hastings and many other exhibitions.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

Roy Eastland

©Roy Eastland


Reading Series: Peter Benson

Wednesday 19th November, doors open 6pm, 6.30 - 7pm

Peter BensonPeter Benson is the author of novels, short stories and plays, including The Levels, A Lesser Dependency, Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke, and Isabel's Skin. He has won the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Encore Award. He is published in translation around the world, and has taught at colleges and universities in the UK, France, Ireland and the USA. He is currently writing a novel about fish.

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

Lecture: Art and War

Tuesday 25th November, 5 - 7pm, £6

Through the centuries artists have responded to the experience of war through art. This illustrated lecture will explore art as a historical document and a means of personal expression. It will examine the role of the official war artist and the nature of the war memorial.

Tickets can be purchased online here.


Poetry, memorials and battlefield tourism: Commemorating the First World War

Wednesday 3rd December, 6.30pm

Dr Sally Minogue and Dr Andrew Palmer will speak about the ways we commemorate the First World War with words, stone, and travel. They will read from the poems which feature in the Gallery's current exhibition, Remembering, we Forget: Poets, Artists and the First World War.

Remembering We Forget

© K J Shepherdson

Reading Series: Tibor Fischer

Wednesday 10th December, doors open 6pm, 6.30 - 7pm

Tibor FischerTibor Fischer’s first novel, Under the Frog was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1993. He is the author of four other novels, The Thought Gang, The Collector Collector, Voyage to the End of the Room and Good to be God as well as a collection of short stories Don’t Read This Book If You’re Stupid. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he is Programme Director for the MA in Creative Writing at Canterbury Christ Church University.

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