Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery LogoAs part of an ongoing commitment to creativity and innovation - the building will feature our new Ignition Gallery, a unique showcase for artistic talent.  

The gallery will be open to the Historic Dockyard visitors.

Opening hours
9:00 til 5:00 Monday to Friday.

For the duration of The Business of Creativity events we are showing a programme of artists including Stephen Turner and Joanna Jones. Full details in due course.

Exhibitions 2009

Click on the links below to find out more informationabout our exhibitions.

Exhibition 1 - 21st May to 22nd June

Exhibition 2 - 25th June to 21st July

Exhibition 3 - 23rd July to 1st September

Exhibition 4 - 3rd September to 29th September

Exhibition 5 - 1st October to 16th November

Note from Stephen Turner

Exhibition 1 - 21st May to 22nd June

Ignition Gallery

1. Harriet Muse
The frill neck dress design derives from all that is unconventional, inspired by the wayward writings of the Earl of Rochester. The dress aims to decode the layers of thought and understanding. Like Medway, it is empowered by the past but ultimately represents contemporary aspirations.

2. Denny Brent
‘Regeneration, Renewal, Renaissance’
Iron, resin & steel

3. Karen Morton
The Medway estuary is a place of tranquillity where the light changes constantly. I have used natural fibres and dyes along with actual mud from the river to create a fabric hanging inspired by the forces of tide and weather. It represents the river both visually and in its substance.

4. Mark Barnes
It may take more than cosmetic changes to appease the Ghost of Medway Past that still haunts the residents and broken streets of the town ... A wry take on Medway’s redevelopment plans in ink and digital colour.
‘The Medway Masterplan’
Digital print on foamboard

5. Tina Kean
This painting represents the positive move towards optimism and growth for those living in the Medway towns. The symbol of the hand signifies the involvement of people in their communities, the developments they will witness and the realization of future benefits for them and all who visit.

6. Margherita Gramegna
‘Artists don’t Bite’
Video & photography

7. Steve Rowland
The Typographic Art of Made in Medway
6 projects - 6 posters

8. Bjon Venø
‘The Obliteration of a Distant World, Passing of Time’

9. Malcom Attryde
‘Putting Down Roots’
32 x 32"
Mixed medium

10. Andrew Lapthorn
‘Low Water Table’
Adzed quarter sawn European oak

Back to Top

Exhibition 2 - 25th June to 21st July

Ignition Gallery

Joanna Jones

Joanna Jones lives and works in Dover, Kent. After studying at the Byam Shaw Schools, Joanna received her NDD in painting from Goldsmith’s College, before going on to the Royal Academy Schools. She was co-founder of the London studio collective the works and collaborated with, amongst others, Carlyle Reedy, David Medalla,Paul Bulwell and David Toop in performance  before leaving  for Germany where she lived and worked developing her practice and exhibiting internationally for the next 20 years. Her work encompasses performance, photography, film and painting. She is a recipient of several professional awards including a scholarship from  Kuenstlerhaus Balmoral in 2000 and an Arts Council Year of the Artist award for a work at Samphire Hoe, Kent in 2001. In 2006 the Pharos Trust brought out a major publication on her practice 'Joanna Jones' including a conversation with the critic and curator Guy Brett, "I meant that the inner light of your work goes beyond the problem of form. It represents pure energy". Jones  co-founded  Dover Arts Development (DAD) in 2006 dedicated to developing the arts in the area where she now lives.


The Sound duo Being (Russell Burden and Terry Davey), began their partnership in 2004 and since then, have amassed an archive of field recordings and generated sound. Into blends of this gathered material they weave subtle acoustic and electronic instrumentation. They are currently exploring collaborations with visual artists, developing site specific projects and working on a limited edition release of their finished pieces.

Dawn Cole

Through my creative practice my sources of inspiration are diverse yet there are recurrent themes throughout: themes of contradiction and contrast, repetition and reversal.

My ideas are fuelled by a keen interest in research, a mechanism through which my work evolves. Much of my work manifests itself in the form of print. The many varying techniques and approaches to printmaking provide the opportunity to explore the interdependence of ideas and process, questioning and blurring boundaries to create a synthesis between the two.

Recent works have developed from research and observations of the effects of the tide and the recording and analysis of the tide times, with several works originating with the piece of trivia;

 the tide times only fully repeat themselves every 18.6 years.

Yvonne Fuchs

Some of the most profound influences of my life have been the various art teachers, therapists and spiritual guides who have sought to encourage me in my work and life.  They have been a source of inspiration and guidance that I have integrated into my work as an artist, teacher, therapist and advisor.

To explore my creative self and my inner world, I have used imaginative drawing, painting and other visual experiments as well as journaling, meditation, and creative visualisation.  I continue to paint in the landscape where ever my travels take me, and in my studio in Kent where my work has taken a more inward focus.  I also regularly exhibit my work in galleries, and as part of the Open Studios in Whitstable.

I am currently showing a series of painted meditations entitled Transitions that explores the inner landscape.  These journeys from my past, through the present and into my future, have come from times of reflection and retreat.  They examine the inner topography, and light.  Mixed media is a useful medium with which to explore the many events and memories that form layers of meaning and possibility for me.

I have a profound love affair with colour and nature, and with encouraging others to find ‘life’ through art and creativity.  I have studied many of the ‘greats’ in art, and try to bring their understandings to my own and my students’ work.  My passion for world culture, spirituality, travel and artefacts has encouraged me to try new ways of working, bringing this enthusiasm to my teaching, community arts and therapeutic work.

I have taught painting and drawing and earth art for over 25 years along side my professional life as a creative at FE and HE level and in adult education.

I am passionate about inspiring my students to find their own style and media to express themselves in their work.  Whether teaching landscape painting in Provence, or working on self-development art with students in the studio, I love to encourage students to have fun, play and be alive.

My courses and workshops aim to encourage the participants to ‘see’ more, to explore, experiment and connect deeply with the subject and themselves.

Back to Top

Exhibition 3 - 23rd July to 1st September

Ignition Gallery

Stephen Turner - Materia Prima, Carnon Valley

Once upon a time three hundred million years ago the granite massif of Carmenellis was intruded into the Cornish landcape not more than a score miles to the north of Falmouth. Hot vapours filled all the fissures and gaps and then cooled into rich seams of copper and tin and many other minerals in close proximity. The Carnon River, rising at Blackwater and running into Restonguet Creek at Devoran cuts at right angles through these diverse veins and has been the focus for my RANE research.

An ex-miner I spoke to in passing, believed that you could find nearly all the elements of the periodic table here, but he was not too forthcoming when I asked him about the Philosophers Stone, the Materia Prima for turning base metal into gold.

However, it seems that there was so much profit to be made from the baser sorts of metals that there was no need for any mythic transformative material - though if it had been found, it might have prevented an increasingly intensive scarring of the land over the past 3000 years of continuous human habitation.
I began to infiltrate the valley, to burrow about across the short six miles from source to estuary; looking for a dialogue between the natural and the manmade. The stunted growth along the stream bed for example, could have been indicative of grazing by cattle or sheep,. However, it’s probably the result of contamination by arsenic that occurs naturally, and in the much greater concentration left behind by an industry that mined and refined it in huge quantities, until the end of World War II at Point Works in Bissoe.

Tailings (or waste) from mining have filled up the valley bottom in serried layers for many generations. What the river once washed down unaided, people began to throw and rinse down themselves.- particles of copper, tin, cobalt, nickel, lead, iron, arsenic and uranium, all too fine to be caught in the refining process, along with the gangue, so called waste minerals such as quartz. Here in microcosm in the Carnon Valley we can see how economics has been allowed to assess (or assay) the value of the earth.

The whole form of the landscape has been changed by this process of silting down. When the Great Western Railway built a viaduct across the valley in 1860 for example, the navvies had to dig down through nine metres of this waste material. The river at its source (symbolic of purity?) also bubbles out through tailings.

They clearly spread out into the the intertidal river too, as revealed by core samples taken by Camborne School of Mines, and it has made Restronguet Creek the most contaminated part of the Fal Estuary.
Attempts have been made at filtration, concentrating the heavy metals in gathering pools below the different mine workings; but they are left to fail when the mines close, and subsequently get used as a dumping ground for all manner of other detritus, like the pillow I found half submerged in a ferric sea; symbolic perhaps of the sleep of humanity through impending catastrophe, or maybe a reminder of a nearby bed and breakfast industry that wishes to use a sanitised mining heritage as the basis for tourism.

Meanwhile the river is still fed by fine contaminating particulates in suspension, carried along in the water flow.

At Two Pipes (a lesser known Carnon Crossing), I tried to let the river reveal this process over a measured period of time by fastening a rectangle of canvas on the water surface, supported by string fastened to plastic and steel rods. After two days it had begun to tell its story. The river created three of these works for me, at different points along its path, and I made one of them into the cover for a pastel box of twenty five separate Carnon Valley colours. For, I had begun to notice how nature was a filter in other ways too.

Tailings, are scattered down the valley slope near the Wheal Jane Mine above Bissoe, and with the action of rain fall, are naturally graded by the time they reach the base of this man made escarpment

A water filled a pool at its base in February, was by June a cracked bed of extremely fine deposits. Water, in its eternal cyle, is moving and fusing the minerals, on which it falls and through which it flows. I began to collect the variously coloured earths and to consider making an allusion to these processes of filtration, and in the process a record of the contaminants.

Each sample of earth had seven successive washings. Vessel one contained the raw material stirred thoroughly in clean water that is then poured off into vessel two where the water levels were topped up and the stirring and pouring off repeated, until by vessel seven, only the finest sediment was left suspended in cloudy water that took two days to settle. These finest of the fine sediments were then made into pastels, which are little odes to local colour. But I wanted to set this subjective beauty against the tougher reality of what each colour chemically is, and in the process make a kind of poem from that information too; together providing both a qualitative and a quantitative take on the experience of place. Twenty five chemical formula texts, (based on an analysis of the different samples by the Camborne School of Mines) are being created, each written in its own pastel – so they are, exactly what they say.

Some make more scary reading than others – the pastel made at the site of the Arsenic production plant below Bissoe, has an 18% Arsenic content, so whilst attractive, its clear that all that glisters is not necessarily gold.

However, there is an undoubted beauty and wonderment in a seam of earth that is purest purple, but what curious amalgam of man made and natural processes caused it to arise? Can it be wholly enjoyed? Sunsets over London can be spectacular on ocassion, but they are often caused by micro particulates in the air. So much so that it has become impossible to depict phenomena like this in art without heavy irony (not to mention without cliché)

There is no Philosophers Stone. The real wealth and alchemy of a place is in the wholeness and interrelation of its accumulated layers of meaning and in the stories it has to tell. I do feel that the troubled story of the Carnon Valley should be told and not hidden away behind Environment Agency signs, with generalised warnings that show people in trouble in water. This approach seems destined to end in a metaphorical drowning for us all.

Stephen Turner

A talk to the RANE Conference
University College, Falmouth 2007

Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy is a painter and printmaker who studied at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, where he was awarded the prize for lithography. 

His work may be seen at the New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, and at Printroom, London, and on-line at the Liberty Gallery.  He is a committee member of the Printmakers Council and exhibits with them regularly.  He has exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and prints at Originals, the Contemporary Printmaking Show, at the Mall Galleries.  In 2007 his work was included in Small Print/Big Impression, a touring exhibition of miniprints, and in the 5th, 6th and 7th British International Miniprint Exhibitions.  In 2007 Michael was awarded a print commission for Art @ the Centre, an Arts Council funded project in Maidstone, Kent.

Claire Sparkes

Flow and the fluid element water are vitally important in relation to the formation and sustainability of life. Water is fundamental to the existence of living nature. It is vital in the formative creative process and then solidified as form, becomes a vehicle for the flow of fluid forces through the physical body.

This fluid element permeates sensitive boundary surfaces. The translucency of such delicate lamellae reveal this osmotic process, and the transmutation of forms.

Movement is continual, cyclical, rhythmical. There is a constant becoming.

Water is the medium which supports the flow of pigment in my creative process, the immaterial abstract fluidity emerging in concrete form. The paper and pigment themselves forming a sensitive mediating surface.

Roy Sparkes

My paintings of the sea have a decorative quality. The sea is like that: the surface riches of colour and texture in particular invite exploration "both are part of the artist’s commentary on real experience" (Duncan MacMillan 1989).

Much of my painting is part of an attempt to explore the nature of existence. It is about the transient state of being.
Influences and support come from the links between authors in this respect, for example, Camus, Kundera, Llosa, Canetti, Paz and Flaubert - "the interplay between the visual power of the imagination, the power of concentration and the power of perpetual motion" (The Introduction to "The Temptation of St Anthony", page 37, Penguin 1980).

Understanding reality depends on the quality of perception(s). The seeming complexity of the nature of material substances is due not least to interpretations by different minds. Human forms become dust and water. Can dust feel pain? Is water hurt by its own fury? This begins to have credence if the chemicals emanating from human bodies become recycled as part of the structure of inorganic objects. I have tried to be true to my own experiences of the sea - its rhythms, colours, textures, implied masses (and moods) are evident in my work. The speed of change is extraordinary: even with a calm sea there are fast colour variations in depth and across the surface. An intense colour can become vacuous and lost to space in a moment.

‘Sea Pictures’ are an important part of my work. They compliment other visual statements concerning the human condition and relationships. "Lightness of Being" (Kundera) and "Weight" (Camus), each condition unbearable, yet identifiable as part of the human problem of understanding reality, including death. To accept death as inevitable and positive is to see it as a life source. The sea’s cyclic actions of erosion and construction are similar.

Back to Top

Exhibition 4 - 3rd September to 29th September

Ignition Gallery

Esther Appleyard

The work is multi-layered and process based, like the concepts themselves. Starting with a woven structure on a very small scale and then enlarging this through photographic processes, exposes faults and differences within the weave – these are the interesting parts of the image: the holes, the flaws. These images are then projected on a much larger scale and printed digitally onto canvas. Scale is important – the impact tiny things have on the vast. How do our genetic codes, invisible to the naked eye have huge implications – not just for us but for society? How do we make judgements about the value of life within the context of genetic screening? On first glance this work may appear purely decorative. Is it possible to explore such serious issues through a candy shop decision making process?

Appleyard graduated from Winchester School of Art after obtaining a BA Hons in Textile Art in 1999. She has since gone on to exhibit throughout the country in Sussex, Kent, Cambridgeshire and most recently at Worcester City Art Gallery and the Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe. Appleyard is based in Hastings.


1 ‘23 Pairs’
Digital print with acrylic, glitter and varnish on canvas £2,800

2 ‘DiversioNA’
Digital print with acrylic, glitter and varnish on canvas £340

Nicholette Goff

Savage landscapes, prehistoric trees weeds, seeds and daisy chains

For several years I have been absorbed with the natural landscape. My studio has stretched from the woodland floor to the compost heap, searching for plants that might be endangered, discarded or fastidiously protected.
I have developed a printing system in which I soak large sheets of watercolour paper in ponds and streams then place it on the ground to make prints of plants in their natural environment – giant hogweed, gunnera, thistles, blackthorn, roses, ragwort, and other hazardous plants – scaling up the process so that I can work on paper that matches the scale of the plant, sometimes 3 or 4 meters across or as small as a daisey. I use garden rollers, logs and even my car to drive over the paper, which picks up colour, texture and embossing unique to that plant, site and season. I don’t use inks or any other colouring in the printmaking process. The prints are ‘traces’ left by the plant – the essence and life of the plant. I keep obsessive records in small sample prints (totaling around 700 so far) charting where and when plants were printed, what date, what paper I used, and so on.
In June 2005 I was invited by Kent County Council to work as artist in residence on Veranka, a nature reserve island in the Danube. I spent two weeks working alongside artists from nine other European countries in a unique ecological environment of wild boar, black heron and rare wild plants.

On Veranka I used a garden roller, which I took into the forest to make the prints. I also made plaster casts of wild boar prints in mud pits, and plants and fish bones which had fallen into the mud on the banks of the Danube. I stitched these imprints onto paper with wire and silk.
Being on Veranka made me more aware of the measures necessary to conserve such remarkable places and since then I have become more focused on how little we know of the changes already underway in our own landscape – changes that come about as a result of social and political developments, as well as climatic change.
Since 2005 I have worked in several carefully tended gardens, such as Sissinghurst Castle, Marle Place and the 16th century garden of the artist Gainsborough. I have been ‘in residence’ in a protected SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) in East Sussex, in a lodge under the Quirang Mountains on the island of Skye, and in the grounds of an old wool mill in Cumbria. I been fortunate enough to work alongside very dedicated head gardeners, foresters, environmentalists and conservationists.

1 ‘Paper Gardener’ Paper and plant stain £30 each
Prints 1 - 7
‘Gainsborough’s House garden’  
Prints 8 - 17
‘Marle Place garden’  
Prints 18 - 28
‘Sissinghurst Castle garden’  
2 ‘Maiden Ash’ (2 Sketches) Paper, plant stain and ‘notions’ £450
3 ‘Reed Bed’ Paper, plant stain, plaster and wire £750
4 ‘9 pages of Veranka Sketchbook’ Paper, plant stain, plaster and wire NFS (Insurance Value £900)
5 ‘Copse (8 trees)’ Paper and plant stain See individual prices below:
Maiden Ash £950    
Cherry £660    
Hornbeam and Crabapple £750    
Horse Chestnut £450    
Larch and Foxglove £660    
Four Saplings £880    

Lorna Dallas-Conte

Boating for Beginners I – 2009

Lap, hands, step, wobble, breath, sit
Lap, dip, push, smile, breath
Lap, dip, push, chatter, breath
Lap, dip, push, look, chatter, breath
Lap, dip, push, look, breath
Lap, dip, push, look, breath
Lap, dip, push, drift, breath
Lap, dip, push, drift, look, breath
Lap, dip, push, drift, look, point, breath
Lap, hands, stand, wobble, breath, sit…

1 ‘Boating for Beginners I’
Mixed yarns £POA (commissions/fragmentsconsidered)

Russell Burden

Infusoria (Part 1) - filament discs

Two plankton collecting trips on the open waters of the River Medway. A developing culture of phytoplankton and Photo-microscopy.

Complete Giclee Series – £P.O.A
2009 - www.strangeleaves.com

Across the river’s surface
Unseen by naked eye
On minute matted rafts or
Drifting individually
Live the teeming billions

Microscopic algae
Converters of sunlight
Through chlorophyll and

Tiny glass houses
Cellulose chains and filaments
Givers of half the world’s oxygen
Carbon dioxide absorbers

A floating garden of
Diaphanous forms
Transparent containers
Filled with energy
Living in suspension

Back to Top

Exhibition 5 - 1st October to 16th November

Ignition Gallery

Ian Campbell-Briggs

As a sculptor working in series, my work is thematic, investigated through metaphor, combining the figure with the abstract. The starting point for the work is the figure by way of analytical drawing in clay, which then inspires the complimentary formalized components.
Two of the sculptures shown here are all in maquette form, and the abstract is a new work for the exhibition. All the sculptures are interrelated through the concept of the Liminal Space.
The Mandorla is an ancient symbol of two circles coming together, overlapping one another to form an almond shape in the middle. This symbolizes the interactions and interdependence of opposing worlds and forces. The unseen circles symbolize interacting but complimentary opposites, the tension of opposites. The space within the overlap is the place in which we are called to "remain", the Liminal Space. This is the place where you arrive after you leave one room and have not yet entered another. In this place you are living on the threshold, all transformations take place in a Liminal Space.
Arc II Maquette Mandorla is a deliberate considered movement through the Liminal Space. The whole figure is described, and the movement is stepping forward, yet the torso pulls back. The articulation of the Mandorla is also forward, therefore emphasising the movement between the two elements.

The Mandorla is constructed with linear steel in planar form, so the figure can be seen through the "wings".
Arc II Maquette Contraposta returns to the earlier formal ideas of Vortex I but on a larger scale. The movement in the figure is implied, the title comes from the pose. The single wing form, which supports the figure, is a mirror image of the articulation of the figure, therefore forming a Helix. As with Mandorla the wing form is constructed with linear steel. Unlike with previous work the sphere is now constructed with a network of short steel rods, twisting over the surface. This represents a three-dimensional labyrinth. The Labyrinth is an architectonic structure and correlates to the systematization of knowledge and therefore that of thought. A Labyrinth can also be seen as a journey, and so a place where transformation occurs.
Ovate I uses the wing/mandorla form, but unlike the two maquettes the sculpture is a floor piece and the form is now horizontal. The crescents are more enclosed, the Liminal Space is almost encapsulated.
The landscape drawings were initially started in situ, then worked on in the studio. They play with colour but draughtsmanship is brought back through the use of line in ink. They are inspired by the work of Duffy and Piper, but the use of the black line relates the drawings to the sculpture because of the linear constructed forms.

"Arc II Maquette Mandorla" Terracotta, iron resin & steel - £1500
"Arc II maquette Contraposta" Terracotta, iron resin & steel - £1500
"Ovate I" Welded Steel - £1600
"Upper Upnor" Gouache & India ink - £350
"The Miramar San Sebastian" Gouache & India ink - £350
"Rochester Cathedral" Gouache & India ink - £350
"The Italian Gardens Hever" Gouache & India ink - £350

Wendy Daws


This continuous memory blanket, a contemporary tapestry, features interrelated personal experiences. Individual episodes are linked by threads - the ties which bind us - illustrating how Wendy perceives a sense of interconnection between the people and events in her life. Although the stories represent Wendy’s life, they have a resonance in all our lives.

Play detective to discover the stories hidden in the shadows.

Materials, acrylic and book-binding, thread Bespoke commissions priced upon application


Steve Dryden

"These birds are part of an on-going project investigating the existence or lack of stimulus and encouragement given to pre-teens concerning the assumptions, styles and expectations of their own art."

Back to Top

A Note from Stephen Turner

Stephen Turners studio viewIn the evening I often look look out of my studio window, reflecting on the days work and considering the next move.  Nowadays others look back from the new creative space across the road in the Joiners Shop. It’s brilliant to be a part of a growing hub of physical spaces in the Historic Dockyard that are home to the vibrant voices of artists, designers and makers of all kinds.

Back to Top