UCA-A Retrospective (Regret and Loss)

UCA - A Retrospective: Creativity past, present and future, honours the outstanding work of students, graduates, alumni and staff, of the University of Creative Arts in Rochester. The college is renowned for its cutting edge style and this exhibition marks 130 years of creativity in this respected institution which will close its doors for the final time in 2023. That this follows the closure of the former Maidstone College nearly 10 years is a sad loss to those who wish to study in the creative industries and no doubt has been impacted by the funding cuts throughout the arts sector which marks a decline in the support of the nation's 'cultural health' (see report Guardian, Sally Weale July 2021).

The exhibition takes place Rochester Art Gallery and UCA’s Zandra Rhodes Gallery It also includes a small exhibition at the nearby Medway Adult Education Centre.

I spent a happy afternoon visiting the exhibition:

So enjoyed a sneak peak in Dame Zandra Rhodes sketchbooks above and  photographer Rikard Osterlund's powerful testimony to his relationship with his artist wife Zara's painful illness. (This felt so personal I felt it was not mine to share here..so go visit)

Loved the shadows as much as the sheer extravagance of Jatin Patel's costume.

Jenny Hughes celebrates travel and cultural diversity in her digital print scarves.

Shelly Goldsmith, Dresses for Giants

Rosie Melville's beautiful ceramics.

And of course, Billy Childish, co-founder of the Stuckism Movement.

We are, and always will be, proud of all our students, alumni and staff who have cultivated their creativity at Rochester. That’s what this show will celebrate because it is people who make a university and our community will always be part of UCA – no matter where our buildings are based.”

Neil Bottle, Programme Director of Fashion Textiles, UCA, 2022

As a student of the former Maidstone College of Art, I am proud of my achievements and grateful to have thrived on the start I was given in my three years of study. I celebrate the legacy that this fine institution leaves and equally mourn that similar opportunities may be denied to so many who will not now be able to develop their full potential as a result of such devastating cuts in learning.

Such a loss is to be regretted.


  • Rochester Art Gallery - 27 January 2023 to 15 April 2023 (Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm - wheelchair accessible)
  • Zandra Rhodes Gallery - 27 January 2023 to 14 March 2023 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
  • Rochester Adult Education Centre - 6 March to 27 April 2023 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).


Apk Techonology said…
Painted and dyed vintage materials, collage, machine and hand stitch. Vintage cloth, dye, paint, thread, images transferred from a gardening magazine . I was pleased to be able to contribute to the article 'Getting Started with New Work' written by Heidi Ingram for Textile Artist alongside artists Nigel Cheney,https://trollapk.com/

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