Sidney Cooper Gallery

Past exhibitions

© David Hobbs

Canterbury 1600 to the present day: 400 years of change

16 November - 19 December

A unique exhibition that presents an overview of the changing nature of the City of Canterbury from the Tudor era to the present day. Research undertaken in a joint venture between professional historians and community volunteers has resulted in a vibrant exhibition with plenty to see and do for all ages.

The display incorporates twenty giant panels, specially produced books, a time-line, large model aircraft from World War 1 and 2, and loans from Canterbury Museum, Maidstone Museum, Canterbury Archaeological Trust and Kent Costume Trust. In addition, there are quizzes, a discovery cabinet, jigsaws, a free city map and trail, buildings to identify and an opportunity for people to record their own oral reminiscences of the city and view archive film footage of Canterbury in the 20th Century.


©Suki Chan

Suki Chan   Still Point

5 October - 3 November


Suki Chan’s new work, Still Point, is a film installation about sacred spaces and places of pilgrimage.

“Whilst filming in sacred sites in Jerusalem, I was struck by how some parts of the city have two names, one in Hebrew and the other in Arabic. How one population can ‘unsee’ another group. How one part of the city is closed off to another group – by borders which are sometimes physical and sometimes psychological.”

Still Point transports the audience from the site of humble wooden structures offering refuge along Pilgrims’ Way in Northumberland, to contested sacred sites in Jerusalem, and the interior spaces of abandoned Syrian villages in the Golan Heights.  

Artists talk   

Wednesday 24 October, 5:30pm

Suki Chan in conversation with Andy Birtwhistle, Principle Lecturer in Film and Video at Canterbury Christ Church university.

Free event, booking essential.


the big draw

                                    The Big Draw

                                          Saturday 13th October 12 - 4 pm



Drop in and be creative     all welcome               free event

image of paintings

© MA students work, 2012

MA Show: The Lightest Light, The Darkest Dark
8 - 22 September

The Lightest Light, the Darkest Dark’, comprises work from eight graduating MA Fine and Applied Arts students whose mixed exhibition of paintings and sculpture in the main gallery suggests a film noir atmosphere. A looking out and within reveals a visceral perception of place, of the body; who is watching who? The title suggests a hearkening back to chiaroscuro, to the transcendence of being and shadow play. As identity is revealed and obscured there is a journey from the quick to the dead.

paintingDeparture 10 - 25 August  

© John Worthington                     

An exhibition which showcases works by seven artists from the Red Dog studios, presenting a diverse range of visual arts.

Red Dog logo                            Creative Canterbury logo

© Pete Webster

In the Making PGCE exhibition
28 - 11 July

In the Making is the culmination of our Post Graduate Certificate of Education students' response to an intense and exciting experience of learning to become artist-designer/teachers. Students celebrate their achievements and the strong partnership between Canterbury Christ Church's Faculty of Education and the secondary schools in Kent and Medway.

The exhibition features examples of students' own creative practice and their work as teachers in a rich variety and range of 2D and 3D media and processes.


2012 Graduate Show: Photography
14 - 21 June

An exhibition to celebrate our students' achievements and showcase substantial final year photographic projects.

Workshop Street: Photography
Saturday 16 June 10 am - 3 pm

by Karen Sheherdson

£10 (£7:50 concessions) booking essential. Suitable for ages 16 years and upwards. No experience necessary.

Aimed at participants keen, but perhaps apprehensive of working photographically in public spaces, this workshop will introduce you to a range of skills and brief you on your rights when shooting on the street. beginning in the gallery, you will then move out onto the streets of Canterbury(regardless of weather). A showcase of images will then be held via a screening in the gallery at 3:30 pm.

© Karen Shepardson, Arlington House, Margate

Gallery Talk: In an instant: creative practice through instant photography
Monday 20 June 6 - 7pm
booking essential

by Karen Sheherdson

This Illustrated talk will examine how instant film photography has been used in creative visual practice. Karen will outline her own practice and instant methods whilst examining how artists and photographers such as David Hockney, Dash Snow, Robert Frank and Walker Evans have been drawn to Polaroid 'instant'. the talk will consider how, in the digital age and with  the demise of traditional Polaroid instant film - what future role this mode of image making might have.


Ba Applied Arts Degree Show

 26 May - 9th June


© From left to right: Barbora Brezakova, Julie Platt, Sharon Rouse and Clare Beattie (2011 Degree Show students work)

Graduating students from our Fine and Applied Arts Degree programme will showcase their work in the Sidney Cooper Gallery and painting studios. Work will include painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture.


Open Ear 2012

27 April - 4 May 

Opening performance Thursday 26th April 6:30 pm

Students from Canterbury Christ Church University's BA (Hons) creative Music technology course display their sonic art work, involving headphone installations and surround sound pieces.

The exhibition will be opened by the renowned sonic artist Janek Schaefer, who will be giving a live performance with his "Local Radio Orchestra".

Talk and performance

Friday 4 May     Free events    booking essential

David Toop talk 3pm - Internationally recognised musician and author David Toop discusses issues pertinent to contemporary sound art.

Salvage performance 4 pm - Sonic Artists from the BA (Hons) creative Music technology course bring thrown-away and 'redundant' materials back to life in an exciting hour long performance featuring circuitt-bent electronics, toys and junk percussion.

Part of the Sounds New Festival


Drawing by James Allen

© James Allen, Canterbury Cathedral

The Thinking Line: Defining Drawing
16 March - 5 April

Using John Berger's categorisations of drawing as observation, communication and exorcism as a framework, this exhibition tracks links between 20th cnetury and contemporary artists.

Hung alongside work from the British Council collection, this exhibition includes work by Canterbury Christ Church University alumni and staff, and significant drawings by artists such as Maggi Hambling, Michael Sandle, David Nash, Euan Uglow, Kennith Armitage and Michael Craig-Martin.

Third Dimension: Sculpture
from the British Council Collection
27 January – 3 March

Of all the artforms in Britain, sculpture has been widely regarded as the most inventive and innovative. Over the decades the pace with which it has evolved to incorporate new materials, new forms and new ideas has been unmatched. This display offers an opportunity to trace key moments from the mid 20th century to today. This exhibition includes work by Anish Kapoor, Richard Long, Vong Phaopharit, Tony Cragg, Rebecca Warren, Bruce Maclean and William Tucker.

Humphrey Ocean: Now and Then
27 January – 3 March

Humphrey Ocean returns to the Sidney Cooper Gallery with a handful of key works spanning his time as a student at Canterbury, including a drawing made there in 1973, through to recently completed paintings. During this formative period – when Michael Craig-Martin had been teaching with Tom Watt (Head of Fine Art), Ocean was introduced to tutors such as Geoffrey Rigden and Ian Dury, both recent graduates from the Royal College of Art, all influential. Ocean exhibits five works representing this journey.


© Vanessa Liu

Artists of Tomorrow: I am Me
6 – 18 January 2012

I am Me celebrates emerging talent from five secondary schools based in east Kent. Using a range of process and materials students have created new works that explore themes of self-image.

The following school’s participating in this year’s artist of tomorrow exhibition are:



The Canterbury High School
Herne Bay High
Homewood School
Kent College
Weald of Kent
The Archbishop’s School