What if…? Gallery

……in the heart of Dartford, Kent.

Welcome to the What If…? Gallery


Since the Corona Virus epidemic we have unfortunately had to curtail our activities and suspend all workshops. We hope to resume as soon as it becomes safe for all our supporters and friends to meet.

******   Please note: We have left our home at 67-69 High Street, Dartford

Please follow us on social media or email us on whatifgallery@gmail.com

so we can keep you up to date and keep in touch.

From Ruth and the team

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what if …? Dartford’s involvement in PROCESSIONS 2018
On the bright sunny day that was Sunday 10th June in Central London, we assembled at Green Park. We were each allocated either WHITE, GREEN or VIOLET coloured scarves and the mass of women filtered into 3 channels of walking groups – this was described as being like toothpaste with 3 colours merging together. There was a great feeling of unity as the women assembled with friendly laughter and sharing stories of their own town’s flag.
As we started the walk near Marble Arch passers-by were cheering and car horns were tooting to show support. As we spied each Television camera-crew a huge roar would erupt and with whistles blowing we would wave at the cameras. We learned a lot from the women around us about the stories and characters that were featured on their Banners, so it was a very interesting afternoon.  I also noticed that there was an unusually high number of Women photographers/camera crew/Interviewers en route with men taking a bit of a back seat for a change.
Careful selection of the women featured on each Banner had been remotely chosen, and those nominated were not allowed to vote for themselves or women in their area.
‘What if’ artists Ruth Howard and Tanya Outen made the 1.5m x 1.2m Silk Banner. This is a lengthy process which starts with drawing chosen images and tracing and mapping. Secondly wax is applied to form the lighter or white areas before we use natural vegetable dyes for the images. After a process of wax removal and steaming the fabric the silk is ready to sew and attach to poles. 

Friday 3rd August  at 13:00 
Friday 24th August at 13:00 
Friday 26th October at 13:00 

Please book and reserve a place now. Telephone 07948 557464.

We we would like to thank the LAWSON ENDOWMENT KENT TRUST for providing funding for Art workshops we are currently presenting for people ‘Living with and beyond Cancer’and MESSY PLAY workshops.

May I take also this opportunity to thank Dartford Borough Council for funding our children’s workshops for 2018. Thank you Jeremy Kite and DBC.

Featured Artist:

TANYA OUTEN – her abstract and colourful work.

Thank you Perrys Exceptional Awards!!
We at the what if gallery…? were shortlisted for the Perry’s Exceptional awards in two categories.
I attended the Ceremony and dinner last night in Leeds Castle with Chris Stone (Chairman of trustees) and Elly Elcombe (Coordinator for Vision Art) and it was a wonderful evening!
There were exceptional charities represented and we did not win this time but it is lovely to get recognition for the work we have been doing for the last 11 years.

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We raised over £125. Thank you all very much for your support.
What if…? Gallery

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Silk Painting / Batik workshops
@ Kinetika Studio Thurrock High House Production Park
Purfleet Essex RM19 1AS

New workshops coming – watch this space or email us for Please ring Ruth on 07940 836672 or email whatifgallery@gmail.com if you want to reserve a space

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DARTFORD FESTIVAL – Our Art competition in the park is now finished and I am pleased to announce that all winners have now been contacted and the awards have been made.

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Calling all Walkers – As part of the Silk River project, Dartford’s walk is to be on Wednesday 20th September.
Please join us – its free of charge and starts at the Thames Marshes and will culminate in Central Park, Dartford with a celebration of local community.

This is part of the Silk River Project where the organisers: Kinetika will be arriving by boat just west of the Dartford Bridge on the gravelly foreshore with 10 giant silk flags (the Silk River Scrolls- one of which is Dartford’s own designed and painted by local artists, including Ruth Howard and Tanya Outen).
Local rangers will take us down the old tramway past the site of the old smallpox hospitals before arriving at Ruby Tuesday Avenue. This is the home town of Mick Jagger, the birthplace of The Rolling Stones and artist Sir Peter Blake. Discover Dartford and the legacy from its pop culture past that still thrives in the town today. Please try and join us, any enquiries can be directed through the what if…? Gallery or direct through the Silk River webpage
Technical difficulty of walk: Moderate
Distance: 4.2 miles

Background Info: 2017 is the 70th anniversary of India’s independence from Britain and a host of events are planned to celebrate and explore our cultural connection with India, Silk River is one of these events. We are pleased to say that the ‘what if…? Gallery’ is working with Kinetika and Dartford Borough Council to undertake an arts project to highlight the history of the silk trade routes from India to London, with the Thames river being a key route.

Kinetika have invited 10 Riverside towns including Dartford, to take part in this project. Each town is ‘twinned’ with a corresponding town in India – Dartford’s twin town is Howrah. The aim of the project is to create a set of large banners – painted with wax, and made of silk (referencing the silk trade). These banners will then be walked through the town at an event in September this year. Kinetika are walking through each town involved in the project and so linking the independent events in each town to create one larger overall event. They will also be doing a parallel walk along the Hooghly River in India.

Ruth Howard is nominated as one of the Lead Artists on the production of the banner. During June the Silk Banners were produced at the Kinetika studio in Purfleet and the 10 banners will be used in the 10 walks in September. If you are a walker and want to take part please get in touch for further info please email whatifgallery@gmail.com.

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Rembrandt – selfie.

LIFE DRAWING – Please contact us to enquire about the next Life session.


The Bluewater POP UP SHOP is now closed!
But look out for exciting news soon!

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26 thoughts on “Welcome to the What If…? Gallery

  1. Hi,
    I am an artist printmaker, living and working in Beckenham, Kent.
    I am also part of a printmaking group who came to know each other through printmaking class in Lewisham.
    I / we are looking for opportunities to exhibit my / our work.
    Are you able to offer a space for hire and if so can you give me details of costs etc?
    I will look forward to hearing back from you.
    Lucy Cooper

    • I hope you received our email regarding exhibitions. In Dartford we are taking bookings for 2016-17 now and hope you will get in touch again if you want to reserve the gallery. We have not had many printmakers contact us, so it would be grand for us to see your work.

  2. Hi, how can I get involved in these exhibitions? They’re a great idea. I’d love to exhibit my work.
    Many thanks

  3. Hi

    Quick questio. I am a landscape photographer.

    I have done a few canvas prints recently. Would you be interested in displaying?

    Happy to pay etc…

    • Hi Dave,
      further to your enquiry in November 2015 I am now pleased to say that we are holding a LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS exhibition which for you to take part – would be free of charge !! amazing isn’t it?

      We look forward to meeting you
      best wishes
      Ruth @ what if …? Gallery

      Please contact Anne on the what if…? Gallery website to enquire,

  4. Do you run printmaking workshops?

  5. I’ve been told I could get an item framed in the gallery. Is this correct?

  6. Hi I don’t know if you can help but I visited the pop up gallery in bluewater and purchased a picture I also say something else I liked but can’t remember the artists name. It was a pen and ink drawing of a fish bowl with blocks of flats in the background with what looked like junk dumped at the bottom of the bowl such as a trolly. Hope you can help me with the name of the artist and a website that I could buy one.
    Many thanks

    • Good morning Nichola.
      Thank you for your enquiry regarding our fine artist David Boughton (a.k.a. El Davo) his work is very collectable and I have passed your email address to him, so he can contact you directly.
      Please do not hesitate to contact me if there are any problems. Look out for us later in the year when we hope to be at Bluewater again where Dave will be exhibiting some more of his work – many thanks
      from Ruth @ what if…Gallery

  7. Hi, we have a painting by a DW Hicks, Dartford. Have you ever heard of this artist?

    • Hello there
      Yes D Hicks was a local Dartford artist who lived in the borough until he died in the early 80’s I think. He was a member of Dartford Art Group. I will try and find out more information for you.

  8. Hi

    I am a textile artist and tutor living in Bexley and wondering if you could show my work or have me as a tutor. Please contact me on the below info.

  9. Hey I’m interested in coming along to your life sessions. Can you let me know what dates you do please? Thanks.

    • Hi Laura
      sorry we didn’t get back to you sooner. The life sessions are being held on Wednesdays evenings (1 per month) and cost £7.50.
      Please register if you would like to come along in January 2017.
      best wishes

  10. What are the prices and activities that are being held for children in the half term?
    Thank you

    • Hi
      To give you background info :

      The price is £5 per child. Children over 7 can join in with the painting a canvas and children under 7 can take part in craft activities. (making an elephant out of milk bottles or creating a storyboard)
      Children can not be left on their own at the gallery so parents/carers are asked to stay on the premises. and the times are from 1-3pm on Wednesday 15th
      All out staff are volunteers, and the benefits from the workshop keep the gallery going.
      thanks and best wishes

  11. Do you still do life drawing? If so, when?

  12. Hi, I now live in Dartford and I’m interested in the numerous activities you do;
    I’m also wanting to show my work in your gallery if possible please?

  13. Hi Ruth,

    Sorry I won’t be able to make today

    Thank you I really enjoyed the last few weeks

    Merry Christmas


    • Ok Debbie no problem. If you want to join us on Wednesday at Efes at 1130 we will be sketching within the restaurant and then having a coffee or a drink to celebrate Christmas? Free of charge – just the cost of your drink. This has been arranged for our artists and will be fun – if you are not able to come then I wish you a merry Christmas. Ruth

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