Portraits & Philosophy: a Conversation

29th March to 11th May 2018 
Curators: Hans Maes and Aurélie Debaene

Portraits & Philosophy: a Conversation invites you to participate in this interaction between image and idea.

Ten of the world’s leading philosophers of art are portrayed here by renowned photographer Steve Pyke and visual artist (and Kent graduate) Claire Anscomb. These striking black-and-white portraits are accompanied by short excerpts from the book Conversations on Art and Aesthetics in which Kent lecturer Dr. Hans Maes discusses key issues in art and aesthetics with these individual philosophers.

Become acquainted with the thoughts and faces of contemporary aesthetics and let yourself be challenged by this up close and personal view of philosophy.

Our Templeman Exhibition

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Templeman Library at the University of Kent. The Templeman Library sits at the heart of the Canterbury campus and has played a central role in the academic lives of the thousands of students and staff who have passed through its doors and roamed its stacks. Drawing upon the University’s extensive photographic archive, our exhibition will celebrate the development of the Library from its humble shop-based beginnings to its recent award-winning expansion and redevelopment, as well as highlighting the ever-changing ways in which the Library is used.

The exhibition will be complemented by original material from the University Archive and themed displays showcasing the unique collections we care for, including treasures from our Special Collections; the British Cartoon Archive; the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive; and our most recent acquisition, the David Drummond Pantomime Collection, one of the largest collections of historic pantomime material in the UK.

The exhibition will be opening in March. During the week of 19th–23rd March we will be celebrating Our Templeman with a range of tours and events. Please visit our website for further information.

Prescriptions: artists’ books

1 August – 17 November 2017
Curators: Stella Bolaki, Egidija Čiricaitė, Elspeth Millar, Helen Blomfield

This, is my Crisis, by Elizabeth Fraser. Photo by Egidija Čiricaitė

Waiting rooms, pills, bandages, surgery, ageing, death, healing, joy, relaxation, consultation, distress and pain are ubiquitous experiences, shared around the world. This exhibition responds to such experiences through the intimate and complex medium of the artist’s book.

The artists’ books in this exhibition were first shown at Prescriptions, an exhibition at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury between April and August 2016, curated by Dr Stella Bolaki and Egidija Čiricaitė. A selection of the books were deposited with the University of Kent’s Special Collections & Archives.

The books on display in Prescriptions: artists’ books demonstrate a wide range of materials and bookbinding techniques. Bringing together books on cancer, chronic illness, disability, mental health, surgery, medicine and wellbeing, this exhibition reveals the communicative power of book art and its therapeutic potential.

Prescriptions: artists’ books includes work by: Martha Hall, Sophie Adams, Penny Alexander, Karen Apps, Heather Beardsley, Gaby Berglund Cardenas, Julie Brixey-Williams, Egidija Ciricaite, Allison Cooke Brown, Margaret Cooter, Amanda Couch, Sue Hague, Cas Holmes, Gemma Lacey, Pauline Lamont-Fisher, Andrew Malone, Anne Parfitt, David Paton, Corinne Perry, Stevie Ronnie, Mary Rouncefield, Erin K. Schmidt, Randi Annie Strand, Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, Amanda Watson-Will, Susie Wilson.

Further links

Capturing Collaborations

2 August – 17 November 2017
Artist: Keith Robinson

Capturing Collaborations. Image by Keith Robinson

Four paintings by artist Keith Robinson visually interpret a project from the School of Biosciences at the University of Kent (working with the University of Manchester).

This project is called BioProNET — short for the Bioprocessing Network — and it aims to facilitate interactions between academic and industrial scientists from across the UK in order to help find cheaper ways to make medicines that are currently very expensive.

Keith took his initial inspiration for the paintings from the interconnecting geometric patterns of Islamic art. He then toured the Bioscience labs at Kent to gain insight into scientific materials and concepts, before researching the people, companies and universities involved in BioProNET.

The four pieces — entitled Conception, Interaction, Location and Community — reflect the ideas, research, materials, people and places involved in BioProNET, as well as the collaborative nature of scientific research.

Sex, Death and Panto

5 April – 12 May 2017
Curated by second-year Drama and Theatre students

A regular second-year Drama and Theatre module on Victorian and Edwardian theatre is taught in collaboration with Kent’s Special Collections & Archives. It emphasises the use of archives in researching 19th–  and early 20th-century theatre.

This year, the students chose to focus on how crimes and scandals affected the theatre of the time, and on the renowned pantomimes performed at Drury Lane. They used primary sources from the University’s extensive Theatre and Performance Archives.

Here’s what the students say about their exhibition: 

Drury Lane Pantomime of the Late 19th Century

This exhibition explores the pantomimes performed at Drury Lane in the late 1800s, produced by Augustus Harris.

It uses primary sources of the time, such as playbills, to focus on this popular form of Christmas entertainment and its most popular acting profiles.

Your journey begins with maps of the time illustrating the location of Theatre Royal Drury Lane in relation to other theatres in the surrounding area, and the distance between Drury Lane and transport links. This research focuses on why Theatre Royal is the birthplace of panto.

The exhibition also dives deeper into Drury Lane to focus on two pantomimes – Dick Whittington and Cinderella – exploring the characters we know and love today, and how they came to be.

Alongside this are four case studies of actors and actresses of the time that played principle roles in the two pantos: Ada Blanche, Dan Leno, Isa Bowman and Alexandra Dagmar. The case studies explore their influence within the pantomime world and give understanding into why Augustus Harris chose females as principal male roles over males. We aim to leave you inspired to enjoy pantomimes as much as we do!

Crime, Scandal and Theatre

This exhibition focuses on a variety of crimes and scandals in the mid to late Victorian era and how they affected the surrounding theatres at the time.

We have used archival material to research into the underbelly of Victorian London and see how poverty, murder, prostitution and mental illness have affected and been reflected on the stage.

Part of our exhibition focuses on the communal fear of Jack the Ripper and how this influenced the choices of theatre productions and the portrayal of villains in London performances.

Another piece considers the societal appetite for sensation and scandal and how this translated to the theatre of the Victorian period; with a focus on the Influence of the Whitechapel killings, and the sex scandals surrounding Ernest Boulton and William Park.

We have also explored the societal view of prostitution and why playwrights like George Bernard Shaw created female characters ‘with a past’ as protagonists in his plays.

You(th) Vision photo exhibition

9–30 March 2017
Curators: Dr Olena Nizalova and Amy Randall, Centre for Health Services Studies

This exhibition features the winners of a European youth photo competition.

The photos depict scenes of transition from youth to adulthood as seen through the lens of young people, reflecting on what it means and how it feels to become adult nowadays. The competition attracted more than 200 entries from young people across Europe.

The exhibition is part of a European-wide research project titled EXCEPT. The project aims to develop effective and innovative policy initiatives to help young people in Europe overcome labour market insecurities and related risks.

Unlike traditional research projects, young people are the voice of EXCEPT and the project acts as a facilitator to ensure that their stories are heard by policy makers across Europe.

Competition winners include Filippo, 21, from Italy, whose entry (pictured) represents his feelings about becoming adult; ‘I think I will be really adult when I can see my father in the mirror’.


Mundus Subterraneous

SarahCraskeMundusSubterraneousFilmStillMundus Subterraneous, the Templeman Library’s first commissioned art installation, is an exciting new piece by artist in residence Sarah Craske, revealing the microscopic life forms hidden in the Library.

It opened on 21 March 2016, and is on show in the Templeman Gallery at various times throughout the year, among other events.

Sarah forensically swabbed items from our Special Collections to collect the microflora growing on them. She then cultivated them and documented their growth, blending it with an image from Athanasius Kircher’s seventeenth-century work Mundus Subterraneus from our collections. Using macro and timelapse photography, digital and analogue technologies, Sarah has created a short film depicting the beauty of the unseen microbial world in our books.

Pictured above: a still from the film.

Saint-Omer and the British Army, 1914-1918

9 January – 3 March 2017

Curated by Terence Hughes and Suzie Bridges

The General Headquarters (GHQ) of the British Expeditionary Force was based at Saint-Omer during World War One and as the HQ of the Royal Flying Corps the small Pas-de-Calais town became the centre of British air power in France. ‘Saint-Omer and the British Army, 1914-1918’ will demonstrate the impact of World War One on Saint-Omer during occupation. The exhibition, whose displays are in both French and English, will be loaned to the University of Kent University for display in the Templeman Gallery during January 2017. The displays to be shown in the exhibition seek to illustrate the huge scale of the British commitment in Flanders during the Great War.  In graphic style the exhibition’s photographs, posters, newspaper reports and private letters will reveal the way in which Saint-Omer’s citizens stoically experienced the Great War alongside the British Army.

Saint Omer market, 1918, Image: IWM

Saint-Omer market, 1918, Image: Imperial War Museum (c) IWM Q11074, catalogue reference Q11074

Ulterior Motifs

17 October – 9 December 2016
Artist: Sara Choudhrey

Arabesque II © Sara Choudhrey 2015

Arabesque II © Sara Choudhrey 2015

Ulterior Motifs is a series of installations exploring distinctive styles, patterns and
motifs found on historical artefacts and architectural sites across the Islamic world.
Laser-cut and laser engraved patterns on white birch are presented against stark
panels of black, leading to an exploration of depth. The play of light and shade
results in an appreciation of each piece from a distance and also within close
proximity, encouraging the viewer’s dynamic motion in exploring analogue objects.

Sara Choudhrey presents traditional Islamic aesthetics within a contemporary fine
art context – asking the viewer to consider their understanding of wider art histories
and continuities. The styles of traditional Islamic art are shown to be continually
evolving with current interpretations presented here for audiences who may
appreciate that which is unfamiliar or re-appreciate that which is not.

Wanted: exhibitions for the Templeman Gallery

Reposted from Library and IT News

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If you’re interested in showcasing your work, research or collections to the public and our students and staff, we’d like to hear from you. The Templeman Exhibitions team is looking for proposals for exhibitions for the Gallery on Floor 1 West of the Templeman Library.

You could be an individual or a group, you could be a Kent student or member of staff, or from outside the University. You might already have all your display items, or you might just have an idea that you’d like to discuss with us.

Your exhibition should be visually interesting, but it doesn’t have to be arts-based. We encourage and welcome proposals from all disciplines. Your exhibition might also accompany an event such as a talk or conference.

We have an exciting programme planned for the next few months, but we’re looking for new exhibitions from early 2017 onwards.

What we’re looking for

We encourage exhibitions, displays and installations that can:

  • Showcase unique and distinctive collections
  • Spread awareness of University output, including research, practice as research and teaching, in any discipline
  • Raise awareness of the University community’s activities, including student societies
  • Strengthen links with the local community, schools and other education institutions

Contact us

If you have any questions, or to discuss your ideas informally before making a proposal, email templemanexhibitions@kent.ac.uk.

Submit a proposal

Download a proposal form, fill it in and send it to templemanexhibitions@kent.ac.uk. The panel considers proposals once a term. The next deadline for proposals is Friday 16 September.