A series of three mosaics designed and created by members of the Medway Art for Life group have been presented to The Rochester Bridge Trust. Helen Corbett, the Trust’s Chief Finance Officer, received the mosaics at the official opening of the Art for Life exhibition celebrating the River Medway, at Chatham Nucleus Arts Centre.
Art for Life, founded in 1988, supports artists with learning and other disabilities providing access to weekly workshops and opportunities to work with professional artists. The River Medway project workshops were led by Dan Sharp and Debbie Randall.
The exhibition, which runs until January 31, features paintings, fabric maps and models created at Art for Life workshops, funded by a Trust community grant, during the past year. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a model of Rochester Bridge built from hundreds of matchsticks by Terry Maytum. Meanwhile, a “river” running under the bridge is a group composition featuring sketches and materials gathered by members during a visit to Upnor. Following the exhibition, the mosaics will be transferred to the Trust’s historic buildings overlooking the River Medway.
Mr Sharp said: “We have tremendous talents in our group and the members take their art very seriously. The workshops are designed to give them access to appropriate facilities and support so that they can achieve the professional standards they are aiming for in the media of their choice. Currently, Art for Life is attracting up to 15 artists to each workshop. The grant from The Rochester Bridge Trust enabled us to run 30 workshops through the year and pay for the materials the artists needed for their compositions.”
Mrs Corbett said: “We are delighted with the mosaics which have been inspired not only by the river but also by the Trust’s stained glass windows and our medieval chapel. All the work on display at the exhibition is superb and reflects the artistic skills, creative talents and enthusiasm of the Art for Life group members.”
The Rochester Bridge Trust, one of the oldest charities in the country, has provided crossings over the River Medway at Rochester at no cost to the public since the end of the 14th century. Careful management of its original endowments means the Trust is also able to make community grants available to local projects associated with its key traditional interests including the River Medway, the conservation of historic buildings, education and engineering.
1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.
2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.
For more information:
The Rochester Bridge Trust
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125