Waterfront Gallery

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

The Gallery is located within the main UCS Waterfront Building, facing onto the idyllic Ipswich Waterfront. Our exhibition space is adjacent to the vibrant Theta 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. The Gallery is currently open from Monday to Friday. For more information on our programme please visit the Forthcoming exhibitions.


In 2015, the Waterfront Gallery hosted a wide range of exhibitions. It started the year in reverse with an exhibition entitled 'Reverse' by Rimantas Plunge who leads the Contemporary Art Department at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania and finished the year with an international exhibition entitled 'Collateral Drawing' which  revealed elements from the artists creative process that would otherwise remain unseen by the public alongside a finished artwork.

In 2016 our dynamic programme will continue to provide local audiences with the opportunity to engage with contemporary art.

The Waterfront Gallery is home to the 'East Contemporary Art: A Collection of 21st Century Practice which is housed at UCS. 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. UCS 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 UCS’ 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|.

In 2016 our dynamic programme will continue to provide local audiences with the opportunity to engage with contemporary art. 

Current Exhibition

Photo East 2016

24 May - 25 June

Julian Germain - Face of the Century and Zed Nelson - The Family

UCS is proud to work in partnership with PhotoEast to launch Suffolk's very own photography festival. For the first time the work of some of the world's most renowned photgrphers will be brought to Suffolk. UCS is delighted to present this exhibition which features renowned photographers Juilian Germain and Zed Nelson. 

At the turn of the millennium  Julian Germain produced a  series of chronologically sequenced portraits of 101 individuals- their birth dates spanning every year of the 20th century - commencing with a 100 year old, ending with a newly born baby.  Face of the Century is one of a series of projects exploring Julian’s overriding preoccupation, ‘life and time, as recorded by photography. I keep coming back to these existential themes. I seem to be drawn to making connections between the young and the old. Very elderly people fascinate me as do children and especially newborn babies. Lives that have only just begun and others which are in their twilight months and years."

Julian Germain(London, 1962) became interested in photography at school. He went on to study it at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham and the Royal College of Art in London. He has published several books, including ‘In Soccer Wonderland’ (1994) and ‘The Face of the Century’ (1999). His first book, ‘Steel Works’ (1990), utilised a combination of his own photographs alongside historical images and pictures from various sources including family albums to examine the effects of the closure of Consett steelworks as well as broader issues of post industrialisation. Julian’s continued belief in the value of amateur and ‘functional’ images is also reflected in his recent book, ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness’, published by SteidlMack in 2005, and also in his project ‘The Running Line’, a sculptural installation in Saltwell Park, Gateshead in 2007, of more than 139,000 pictures made by amateur and professional photographers of the previous year’s ‘Great North Run’.

Since 1995 he has been working with Brazilian artists, Patricia Azevedo and Murilo Godoy on a number of photography projects which are conceived and executed as collaborations with groups such as favela communities and street children, who produce the imagery themselves. In 1998, the book ‘No Mundo Maravilhoso do Futebol’ was published by Basalt (the proceeds financing the construction of a library and community centre) and the ‘No Olho da Rua’ collective has specialised in bringing imagery made by these marginalised groups directly to the public, in the form of posters, newspapers and flyers displayed and distributed on the streets of the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.

Germain sits on the editorial board of the magazine ‘Useful Photography’ alongside Erik Kessels, Hans van der Meer, Hans Aarsman and Claudi de Cleen and is a Trustee of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. He has exhibited his work internationally, notably at the Photographer’s Gallery, London, Parco Gallery, Tokyo, MASP, Sao Paulo, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and at Netherlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam.

   Black and white photograph of the family by Zed Nelson  

Zed Nelson has been photographing the same family for a quarter of a century.   The inspiration for the project came when " the wife of a friend was nine months pregnant, and I had an idea - based on time-lapse photography - to photograph them together, on the same day every year, forever. I planned the shoots in a formal, almost scientific way. Every year, at the same time, against the same backdrop, under the same lighting. This way there are no distractions, only the miracle of growth and the changes of time and age."

Zed's work has been published and exhibited worldwide.Having gained recognition and major awards as a documentary photographer working in some of the most troubled areas of the world, Zed has increasingly turned his focus on Western society, adopting an increasingly conceptual approach to reflect on contemporary social issues.

Gun Nation - a disturbing reflection on America’s deadly love affair with the gun – was Zed’s seminal first book. The project has been awarded five major international photography prizes and is regarded by many as the definitive body of work on the subject.

Love Me – Zed’s second book - reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty. The project explores how a new form of globalization is taking place, where an increasingly narrow Western beauty ideal is being exported around the world like a crude universal brand. The project spans five years, and involved photography in 18 countries across five continents. Love Me was recently nominated for the2011 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, short-listed for the Leica European Publishers Award for Photography, and received First Prize in the 2010 Pictures of the Year International awards.

Previous awards include the Visa d’Or, France; First Prize in World Press Photo Competition; and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, USA.

Nelson’s work has been exhibited at Tate Britain, the ICA and the National Portrait Gallery, and is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.  Nelson has had solo shows in London, Stockholm and New York.



 Gallery information

Arts and Humanities 
Events and Exhibitions

The Arts and Humanities Department at UCS host a wide variety of events and exhibitions throughout year:

To find out about more exhibitions and tourist information for Suffolk please visit www.suffolktouristguide  |


Gallery opening times

Monday - Thursday 9.00 - 16.00

Friday 9.00 - 16.00

Saturday 23 and 30 Jan 11.00 - 15.00

subject to change


Carol Gant - Arts Curator
T: 01473 338654
E: c.gant2@ucs.ac.uk



Photograph of MildredHarrison,Aged99

Photography by Julian Germain of Rhiannon Germain, Age5days