Rye Creative Centre runs an eclectic exhibition program featuring a wide variety of contemporary artists and makers.  Through a mix of group and solo shows, our gallery curator Paula MacArthur has compiled a program that aims to display creative quality from Rye Creative Centre resident artists, local, national and international artists. Below is our most recent exhibition, please click on the Exhibitions tab above to select and view our forthcoming and past exhibitions.

Im/material bodies

12 April – 10 May
Private view 12 April 5.30-7.30pm
Exhibition continues until 10 May 11am – 7.30pm weekdays only

Drawing parallels between the materiality of canvas, paper, paint and the human body, these artists query whether the human spirit can be embodied materially. So often the mind is seen as being entirely separate from the body, completely splitting apart the physical & intellectual/spiritual. The works selected for this show embody that which does not already exist as an image or object and bring our awareness to the skin-like fragility of surface, at once describing something corporeal and evocative of its consciousness.

These artists distill feelings, thoughts and intuitions into static objects. They bring focus to the things which are ordinarily imperceptible so that they can be registered, understood and most crucially, felt. The surface qualities allude to flesh and bring our awareness to the delicate barrier between our internal and external existence; they suggest the possibility of transport between the self and other, physical and spiritual, material and immaterial revealing possible routes to our fundamental interconnectedness.

Sharon Haward creates interventions and assemblages that involve the superimposition of different media onto objects, structures and architectural spaces. She looks for ways of expressing a sense of shifting form and meaning, by overlaying one space with the memory or traces of itself or of another related site, changing the quality of the host space without obliterating it’s essential character.

Often working in three dimensions, Phil Illingworth nevertheless approaches his work as a ‘painter’, the history and visual syntax of painting providing him with a field of enquiry through which to explore the conventions of both painter and viewer. His works are created with the intention that they have no projected signifiers other than the physical realisation of the work, its material components and the language used to describe it.

Paula MacArthur’s garment series of paintings are suggestive of draped or wrapped figures yet our inability to be certain of precisely what lies underneath the fabric gives us a sense of unease and unworldliness. From a distance the illusion is readable but as the viewer gets closer surface comes into focus, the illusion disappears and the viewer becomes immersed in the expanse of transparent colour.

Wendy Saunders constructs her painting supports specifically to act as carriers for a number of ideas relating to the reading of human countenance and emotion. They are an evolved, abstracted representation of the human form, combining surface and materials she evokes ideas of character or states of human expression which activate a psychological reading merely with the addition of coloured paint. She experiments with ways that the materials can be used to drive these anthropomorphic representations and how that represents either a state of mind, some form of behaviour or ideas about the human condition”.


Sara Dare, Paintings

8 – 29 March 2019

Private view 8 March 5.30-7.30pm

Exhibition continues until 29 March 11am – 7.30pm weekdays only

Sara Dare is an abstract painter and installation artist based in coastal Sussex and works throughout the South East and London, she was awarded a solo show at Rye Creative Centre whilst featuring at The Winter Salon Exhibition. Her paintings ‘In-between’ and ‘Peaked’ were selected for this prize by painter and curator Paula MacArthur and Victoria Howarth, Head of Exhibitions at The Jerwood Gallery.

Primarily working on a large-scale, she explores the limits of surface using paper, linen and canvas, combined with a varied range of mediums such as ink, oil, emulsion, acrylic and varnish. She is also concerned with the environment surrounding the works and the conversations between them, consistently working on several pieces simultaneously. Through the use of organic bold shapes and complex colour combinations in her painting Dare seeks to convey an initial playful light-heartedness followed by a sense of unease and tension.

Alongside her practice Dare seeks to work on inclusive and educational creative projects with diverse community groups and audiences. She has worked as an artist, workshop leader and consultant on a broad range of visual arts programmes with organisations in the health and gallery sector such as NHS Partnerships and Tate Liverpool.

Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Sid Motion Gallery – London, in 2017 C’est De La Peinture at Bankley Gallery – Manchester, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun at Unit 3 Projects ASC Studios – London, in 2017 a solo exhibition Quick, Quick, Slow at Colonnade House Gallery – Worthing, in 2015 a solo feature at Design Junction, London Design Festival and in 2014 Dare was part of Littoral Drift a group exhibition during the Coastal Currents Festival in Hastings.



New Road Artists: Group Exhibition 

21 September – 28 September 2018

This free exhibition is open to the public Monday – Friday, 11am-1pm.

Our latest exhibition features over 40 works from many of our resident artists here at Rye Creative Centre, collectively known as New Road Artists. The opening of the show coincided with our popular Open Studios weekend.