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Waterfront Gallery

Welcome to the Waterfront Gallery at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, an innovative and exciting contemporary exhibition space.

The Gallery is located within the main university Waterfront Building, facing onto the idyllic Ipswich Waterfront. Our exhibition space is adjacent to the vibrant Cargo Cafe, which offers a selection of refreshments to be enjoyed while experiencing the art and the impressive waterfront view.

Admission to the Waterfront Gallery is free and all are welcome, students, staff and members of the public alike.  For more information on our programme please visit the Forthcoming exhibitions.


The Waterfront Gallery is home to the 'East Contemporary Art: A Collection of 21st Century Practice which is housed at the university. The collection is the initiative of Robert Priseman and Simon Carter who set out to create a new contemporary art collection, distinct from the historic collections yet complementary to them. The university is proud to house this permanent collection that captures the diversity of practice in the region and re-affirms the importance of artists work to our creative journey. It signals the development of the relationships between artists and university academic staff and students and will impact on wider community engagement. It also has the potential to open discussion on practice and process, and provides a platform for wider arts debates. For more information about the collection please visit the East Contemporary Art webpages.


Current Exhibition

Mark Ward

Birds, Beasts and Bendy Stuff

5 July – 3 August 2018

One man, one studio, some stuff…and a whole LOT of Nature.

We’re thrilled to be showing Mark’s work here at the Waterfront Gallery. The creatures he meticulously creates out of Fimo modelling clay or pipe cleaner, which he places in a fantastical landscape, don’t just draw on likes of Henri Rousseau or Pablo Picasso, but recycle them, as Mark says himself.  He uses the humour, nature, and surrealism and recycles them into something new and beautiful in every one of his artworks.

As Mark himself writes:


The dawn chorus. Like the first morning, as the song goes. Listening to the birds and connecting to an earlier consciousness. To Arcadia.

Meanwhile the birds go back to their nests in buildings, their feeding holes on sewage farms and rubbish tips, or they hang off my plastic birdfeeder. Not so wild then. My clean slate of Edenistic Romanticism is looking a little fogged.

When I think of the crowd that have written all over that slate – Poussin, Blake and the Ancients, Picasso with his Primitivism and his friend Rousseau’s primal jungles to name a few, then it’s looking quite well covered. I’d also add Piaget’s stuff about play learning (I was a teacher) and I’m beginning to acquire more stuff than my little head can hold. The stuff of ideas. So much is so beautiful I don’t want to clean the slate.

Take Blue Planet 2. Not just the primal nature content, but the technology and human endeavour to bring it to us. But in the end it was also about wrecking the planet with too much stuff. So, recycle. Recycle plastic, packaging, Poussin, Picasso and Piaget.

Virgil tells me that Arcadia is a state of mind that has to be lost in order for it to be recreated on a higher plane. So, this is on a stage one foot above my studio table. This is where I recycle stuff. I recreate my version of nature from recycled ideas, cardboard and a whole lot of other stuff.

Recycling Poussin, et in Arcadia Fimo!"

Mark Ward, 2018




Gallery information

Gallery opening times

Monday - Friday 9.00 - 16.00

subject to change


Sarah De Melo