The City 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.
Lucy + Jorge Orta are known internationally for their collaborative practice focusing on social and ecological issues, employing a wide range of mediums to realise long-term projects both in the gallery and the public space. Since 1996 they have been investigating the local and global food chain and the ritual of community dining. This exhibition is the culmination of an 18-month residency the artists have had with the city of Peterborough. In 2015, Lucy + Jorge created 70 x 7 The Meal Act XXXIX in the city, their first major UK meal in this ongoing series, seating 500 local residents for a spectacular lunch of locally sourced produce. Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food draws together archival work from their Food series, alongside new sculpture and drawings inspired by the Peterborough meal. The exhibition touches on themes of consumer food waste, global food distribution, seasonality of food, biodiversity and preservation of plant diversity.
Running alongside the show will be a diverse programme of activities and events ranging from bread making and pickling workshops, artists talks, debates. A monograph Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food in the Public Sphere will be published for the occasion by Black Dog Publishing, bringing together the artists impressive body of work on the subject. For more information and to keep up to date visit www.metalculture.com or facebook at Metal Peterborough.
From the tiny town of Bra, home to some 27,000 inhabitants, the anti-fast-food slow food movement has grown to become a revolution that now has roots in more than 150 countries. Cheese-makers, vintners, and artisanal food folk, toast Slow Food for bringing about a change in consciousness that shook the very foundation of gastronomy.
A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the sewers of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely - and certainly unwanted - visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy's passion for cooking soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down.
Why does food make us feel good? Looking at the many ways food plays such an important part in our quality of life. Philosophy discussion led by Michael Reid of Peterborough Philosophy in the Park. Includes soup and bread.
How economics plays a central role in who eats well and who goes hungry. Philosophy discussion led by John De-Val of Peterborough Philosophy in the Park.
There is no doubt that the vote to leave the EU was a historic moment, one that will impact on us all. 5 months on and what more do we know about the repercussions for how land will be managed and used, land ownership, employment and financial sustainability. The changes for the fens, and therefore our communities, could be huge. A panel of professionals and activists present different perspectives to help inform a public discussion about what this means for us. Includes Andrew Burgess, Director of Agriculture, Produce World Ltd, Prof Tim Lang, Kate Genever and Robin Grey.
The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery. Unfortunately, this puts the Kadams in direct competition with the snobbish Madame Mallory's acclaimed haute cuisine establishment. The resulting rivalry eventually escalates in personal intensity until it goes too far. Comedy, drama with Helen Mirren
Why not host your own 70 x 7 The Meal? During the exhibition you can borrow a Lucy + Jorge Orta dinner set for 6 people, host a meal with friends and family and join in the conversation around food, food waste and food consumption. The box includes limited edition Harvest plates, napkins, table runner and conversation starters around food.
We would love to see your meal and hear the conversations you had, contribute by writing the answers on the conversation starter cards or by tagging us in a picture of your gathering on social media using the hashtag #MetalOrtaFood.
The Harvest Dinner set box serves six, more than one box can be loaned out at one time and need to be collected and returned from Chauffeurs Cottage. Fancy hosting your own Harvest meal then email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your set.
Guided tours: Metal will be able to offer groups a free 30-minute guided tour of the exhibition if booked in advance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jake and Dinos Chapman
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.