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Artists bring local history to life

Step back in time almost 2,000 years when you visit a new art exhibition which includes visions of Rochester’s Roman bridge.

The Winter Exhibition held by Rochester and West Kent Art Society brings together the entries for two recent art competitions.

Impressions of the Roman Rochester Bridge is a collection of works to illustrate how Britain’s first major river crossing may have looked. Artists attended a presentation to learn about the engineering behind the Roman bridge and how it may have looked. They then painted their own artistic interpretations.

Andrew Freeman, Operations Manager for the Rochester Bridge Trust explained: “Almost two millennia ago, the Romans built the first bridge at what would later become Rochester. This was a remarkable engineering achievement with an impact that continues to be felt today. However – for obvious reasons – there are no pictures of how that crossing would have looked.

“We contacted the art society and asked their members to take part in this competition because we appreciate the importance of visual storytelling. The winning picture will be a striking way of telling the story of Rochester – and of Rochester Bridge.”

Also on display will be entries to The Ron Wiseman Marine Prize. Ron was a highly valued and active long term member of the local Art Society, renowned for his paintings of Thames sailing barges. This prize is being awarded in his memory.

Trish Fairchild of Rochester and West Kent Art Society added: “We are very pleased by the high standard of art entered into these two contests. The winners will be announced early in the exhibition and we urge people to come and see the works for themselves, as every item shown is worthy of its place in this display.”

The free exhibition runs from Monday, 7th January, until Monday, 4th February, from 10am until 4pm, in the Crypt of Rochester Cathedral.

The winners of both prizes will be announced during a public reception and prize-giving on Saturday, 12th January, from 2-4pm. All are welcome.

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