From the Archive

From the Archive

The Art Gallery has a varied programme of exhibitions and events, showing both local and internationally renowned artists.

The gallery has a successful and wide ranging exhibition history, from print-making through to sculpture.

A selection of our previous exhibitions are shown below.

View some of our previous exhibitions below

The Fabric of Society

15 Nov 2018 - 3 Feb 2019

The Fabric of Society exhibition has brought together a group of 20 women from different communities across Peterborough in regular textile sessions at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery since August 2018. There they have shared their traditional textiles and techniques, as well as their histories and importance. It has been an enlightening exploration of immigration and integration in our community.

Nationalities represented in the project include Lithuania, Portugal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, England and Angola. The group also took the time to eat together during their meet-ups, with each member bringing traditional foods from their communities.

As the exhibition continues the display will build and change and the gallery will act as a work space. Members of the public will be invited to take part in sewing sessions with the group.

Open Exhibition 2016

18th March – 28th May 2016

This year saw 400 artists competing for their place in the show, with 76 successful artworks chosen by this year’s judging panel: Sarah Brown, Programme Curator at Leeds Art Gallery, Printmaker Dale Deverux Barker and Yasmin Canvin, Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art.

Four particularly worthy artists were awarded prizes for their work including Ingrida Bagdonaite who won the First Prize Maxwell Memorial Prize for Camera, City Drawing by Jane Walker received the Highly Commended award, Boon Yik Chung’s Las Vegas Happy Pigs Farm won the Best Drawing Award and the Newcomer Award went to Mack Mathod for Alan Bracegirdle.

All that is now left to be awarded is the People’s Choice Award, which is in the hands of the public.

Decorative Shadows

Jeni Cairns
Friday 8 May – Sunday 7 June 2015

This exhibition has been an exploration of various belief systems, religious practices and spiritual rituals: to sit in a temple, to meditate in front of a mandala, to pray on a prayer mat. It is concerned with how objects and belief systems may make us feel safe, happy, virtuous, or give us a sense of belonging and inner peace. Jeni has always had an interest in eastern and western philosophies and religions, in particular observing the important role symbolism, decoration and pattern plays within them.

The metalwork pieces are inspired by ancient and historical patterns, decoration and representations of nature, some with hidden meanings and symbolism. Shadow and light play an important role to draw on ideas of perceived realities that do not actually exist (the shadow) and the reality that can be touched.

Chameleons and Shapeshifters

Michael Shaw
11 October – 30 November 2014

This dynamic exhibition won’t stay still and won’t stay the same colour for long.

Its site-specific centrepiece features a giant breathing inflatable that will wind around the architecture, rising up into the gallery’s skylights.

Intestinal parasite or oversize snake? Threatening or benign? It is for you to decide.

The kinetic beast will be complemented by smaller sculptures whose surfaces appear to change colour as the viewer moves around them.

Open Exhibition 2014

19th July – 21 September

With an Open Exhibition selected by a changing panel of judges, there is usually a broad range of work, celebrating art through different media with varied subject matter.

This year’s exhibition contains portraits, some bursting with the character of the sitter, others more meditative in mood, leading through to landscapes with muted hues contrasting with those painted in more vibrant, energetic tones. There are fantastical illustrations depicting allegorical scenes of folklore alongside peaceful, idyllic vistas juxtaposed with vibrant splashes of movement and fun.

In this exhibition, there are works that provoke thought or induce a sense of awe, some encourage closer inspection, whilst others require the viewer to stand back to take in their scale. All of this comes together to showcase the quality of local artistic talent in the region.


Metal Culture
12 December 2014 – 22 February 2015

Increasingly, the distinction between traditional notions of public and private; the street and the home; or the image we present to strangers compared to our families blurs in our modern world.

Whilst we are accustomed to having advertising all around us and social media documenting our every move, there are times when our private thoughts and personal spaces seem ever more important and vital.

The exhibition hoarding curated by arts organisation Metal, introduces the visitor to these two worlds, from monumental billboards designed by 10 UK artists to the intimate, everyday journals of Peterborough residents. The overall effect is to consider the bigger questions of our time provoked by and through the intimate expression of others.

The Yellow Wallpaper

Tom Gallant
6 March – 26 April 2015

The Yellow Wallpaper exhibition, curated by contemporary artist Tom Gallant, takes us on a journey into the world of storytelling and imagery that has influenced his art practice, and in particular the dress, titled Dress09, made in collaboration with fashion designer Marios Schwab.

The exhibition’s title is taken from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novella The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), which powerfully conveys a claustrophobic world inhabited by a Victorian wife passively imprisoned by her husband.

The novella provides a framework for images and influences that relate to Dress 09.

Fabric of the Earth

Julie Reid
Sunday 12 October – Sunday 2 November 2014

To say Julie’s work is influenced by nature is not enough. Nature is all encompassing, it feeds our physical, spiritual and mental health.

How can one not explore and question its essence, how ‘Human Nature’ has impacted the environment and the very fabric of Earth.

The starting point of this body of work was her garden which she opens as part of the National Garden Scheme. Beginning with drawings of the plants within it lead to thoughts on how she chooses to use her ‘little part of Earth.’

This combined with previous and continued ideas of landscape, her concerns about the human impact on the environment and climate change; it has grown into an ongoing exploration of the beauty and power to be drawn on from nature.

Parkway from the series London Overspill

James Smith
3rd May – 6th July

The exhibition is the fourth and final show on James’ ‘London Overspill’ tour, showing both previously exhibited work and new images made in and around Peterborough.

The focus on post-war New Towns makes Peterborough an ideal subject –James will capture the city as it moves through a new phase of development, creating a series of images that acknowledges its architectural past while depicting this changing city.

Alongside these will be existing work, allowing visitors to notice details and similarities between different but architecturally similar locations.


Sue Shields
30th November 2013 – 26th Jan 2014

Sue Shields new work explores her life long relationship with both landscape and nature.

Her paintings, prints, textiles and curios are a response to her belief that our increasing concern for the natural environment and our worship, care and reverence of it has transcended the bounds of scientific and recreational norms, being replaced instead by behaviours akin to the devotion shown to established religions.

Sue pays homage to this philosophy and by drawing on historical religious devices has created devotional artefacts and totems inventing a symbolic faith, the Cult of Land in contrast to the theological and conceptual doctrine of the church.


Anita Bruce, Sheelah Mahalath Bewley, Kathryn Parsons, Sam Roddan, Sue Shields
8th November – 30th November 2014

Using a variety of found objects, recycled materials, contemporary technologies as well as traditional skills, the work references Clare’s own manuscripts, poetry and prose.

Collaborating with Dr Sarah Houghton-Walker and Dr Paul Chirico of the Centre for John Clare Studies at Cambridge, the artists have developed their own impressions of the life and personality of the poet and his influences.

Juxtaposing the research of John Clare’s legacy with current creative contexts and the personal responses of each artist has resulted in innovative interpretations of the poet’s life and work, enhancing the understanding and appreciation of Clare’s story.

CEP13 - Stamford College

17th December 2013 – 12th January 2013

The exhibition ‘CEP13’ hosts work by level 5 students on the Photography degree course at New College Stamford.

Today New College Stamford is a developing institution with ambition.

Students on the two-year foundation degree programme are offered a unique learning experience.

The compact nature of the course provides a perfect platform for a distinctive approach to creative image making.

Students select the programme because it provides intensive guidance and despite its rural location adopts an outward focused agenda.

Suri Suri

Giuseppina Santoro-Ellwood
22nd February – 23rd March 2014

Suri Suri is a solo exhibition of sculpture and paintings reveal deep rooted narratives where Pina’s British and Sicilian culture and identity are brought into question.

Drawing on diverse and personal experiences the show has spiritual, historical and current content.

Suri Suri will show selected works from ‘Unspoken’, having previously been shown at The Yarrow Gallery, Oundle

Ships and Boats

Alfred Wallis
21st September – 17th November 2013

On display are forty paintings, from the Kettle’s yard reserve collection and paintings from the part of the house which will be closed due to building works.

The collection on display shows what Wallis is best known for, from brigantines and sailing boats to tug boats and motor vessels, often battling with unpredictable seas.

What shines out in this exhibition is Wallis’ exceptional natural talent. Alfred Wallis (1855 -1942) is one of the most original and inspiring British artists of the 20th Century.

Kettle’s Yard owns nearly 100 works by Alfred Wallis and this exhibition is a great opportunity to see 40 of Wallis’ remarkable paintings, some of which have rarely been shown.

Young, Gifted & Talented Open 2013

13th July – 8th September 2013

Each artist was able to submit up to two works. Entries included painting, drawing, photography, prints, video and sculpture.

The judges were impressed with both the high standard and incredible talent of the city’s young artists.

Judging took place without any artist names or titles on the work, only the category they were entered into.

The judges then selected their three favourite works in each category, which were then taken to a group discussion where the winner was decided.

Still: Conflict, Conservation & Contemplation

Peter Cusack, Gina Czarnecki, Simon Norfolk, Annette Mangaard and Markus Soukup
4 May – 30 Jun 2013

STILL is an exhibition of work made by artists in relation to the economics, politics, ownership and contested nature of global water supplies in the era of climate change.

Water is all around us, yet increasingly we need to take steps to conserve our supplies of it and become aware that we cannot just leave the tap running. The artworks broadly touch on our relationship to one of our most important commodities.


'Crafted' - Young Curators

A group show curated by Kat Burkinshaw
29th May – 15th June

From incredibly detailed studio portraits shot on a large format digital back to landscapes exploring our ideas about beauty and the natural shot on medium format film, the works are as wide ranging in subject matter as they are in medium.

Each project is the culmination of several years of study, through which each photographer communicates both the story of their subject(s) and their own artistic or commercial practice.

Though subject matter may vary, the calibre of work is consistently high from a group of photographers who are gradually establishing themselves as dedicated, skillful practitioners.

In His Embrace

Garth Bayley
31st May – 29th June

Garth enjoys exploring all modes of creating visual work but his main love is using oils, with his richness of the colours and the consistency he can achieve by layering the paint with a combination of brush and palette knife, all of this resulting in a rich texture.

His subjects are diverse ranging from sport and dance to abstracted landscape. The landscapes are drawn, informed by emotions, when visiting a site and often include derelict buildings or left over manmade debris.

He uses personal experiences to create beautifully expressive canvases evoking both emotional and physical sensuality.

The overriding theme is reinterpreting and allowing captured glimpses into his everyday experiences.

My Giant Colouring Book

Jake and Dinos Chapman
April 2013

The etchings in My Giant Colouring Book seem to be seething with grotesque imagery, yet on inspection they are surprisingly innocuous.

19 of the 21 images are based loosely on join-the-dots drawings from children’s picture books.

The resulting images, all – ironically – monochrome, are dense, hallucinatory improvisations that subvert the apparent innocence of the original illustrations.

The images are rich in art-historical allusions, from medieval images of hell and damnation to Picasso, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

Sparkle and Spin

Paola McClure
November 2012 – January 2013

Although this highly individual work has a dark edge, it is impossible to escape the sense of fun, and the joy of making, which is in evidence throughout the exhibition.

Taking its name from a popular children’s book of the 1970’s by Ann and Paul Rand, ‘Sparkle and Spin’ features new ‘soft sculpture’ characters and large-scale installation pieces which have plenty to enthral and inspire visitors, young and old alike.

 Sparkle and Spin is a touring exhibition produced by 20-21 Visual Arts Centre and Paola has created several new pieces of work for the touring exhibition, including large-scale installations, photographs from her collection and two pieces visitors will be able to interact with, to make their own sculpture or installation.

Open Exhibition

October – November 2012

The City Gallery is delighted to present its first ever ‘Open Exhibition’.

Our aim was to find and showcase the best of our local talent in an open to all competition.

The Open Exhibition was available to artists working in any medium or subject matter, living within the PE post code area.

Each artist was able to submit up to three works. Entries were accepted in the form of painting, drawing, photography, prints, sculpture and applied arts.

Installation and performance art were also considered.

The City Gallery received an incredible 367 entries, with a vast range of work submitted from across the area, from photographs to painting and ceramics to sculpture.


Michael Craig-Martin
August – September 2012

Michael Craig-Martin is one of the most influential British artists of recent decades.

He was a key figure for the YBA generation of artists, whom he taught at Goldsmiths College of Art. In his recent series, Alphabet, he has produced 26 screen-prints in which the letters of the alphabet are overlaid with everyday objects such as a book, a glass of water or an umbrella.

The works in Alphabet are created in Craig-Martin’s signature style, these visually arresting images are set against a background of vivid monochrome colours.

In this series Craig-Martin plays with the idea of the ABC children’s primer. Instead of a direct ‘A is for Apple’, ‘B is for Ball’, the relationship between the letter and image depicted is not instantly obvious and requires some guess work.

Peterborough Through a Lens

Chris Porsz
March – May 2012

Chris Porsz's images of strangers document a particular time in the life of the city of Peterborough and its people, which is made all the more poignant by his recent rediscovery of these same subjects.

His then and now portraits reveal not only how people have changed, but how the city has as well.

The exhibition will also include a number of reunion photos, which Chris has been working on for a number of years.

Many of the images were taken in the early 1980s and Chris has been able to persuade many of the photo’s subjects to return to the scene, and produce modern day images of them in the place where the photo was shot, sometimes more than 30 years ago.

Dreams Made Manifest

Halima Cassell
June – July 2012

Halima concentrates on simple forms as the basis of her work using complex patterns combined with surface patterns with heavily contrasting contours.

This approach provides her with the tools to create the compelling drama and playful dynamism that characterises her work.

Her work was influenced by a new emphasis on the balance between masculine and feminine forms whilst working with the same elements of design and process.

More recently she has become interested in cutting more aggressively in to the original form, sometimes to the point where the form begins to distort and becomes no longer recognisable as a geometric volume.