The West Downs Gallery

Photo looking into the West Downs Gallery

The West Downs Gallery

Creativity is highly valued at the University. We are immensely proud of the extensive and diverse art collection on display in our buildings and throughout our grounds.

Much of our art collection dates back to the days of King Alfred's College when we delivered teacher training courses with specialisms in art. We continue to commission and collect works of art, and we work to support emerging local and regional artists. A rolling programme of exhibitions by contemporary artists is organised within our gallery.

The West Downs Gallery is sited within our most recent campus development on Romsey Road. The Gallery hosts a programme of exhibitions across the year, and aims to show creative work of the highest quality to inspire debate and participation between creative professionals, academics, students and the public. To be added to our mailing list about upcoming exhibitions please contact

Current exhibition

Open Sanctuary
by Montagu Bazeley
26 May - 28 June 2022

 man sitting in centre of sculpture in a beautiful garden

'Open Sanctuary' is a sculpture made from hundreds of individual ceramic balls which, when completed, will form a circular space for visitors to sit quietly and meditate on what 'searching for sanctuary' means for them.

In a series of workshops led by artists Fiamma Colonna Montagu and Sam Selwyn Bazeley, participants will be guided through a meditation whilst creating a ceramic ball using natural clays. After firing, each ball will be slotted onto a large circular armature to slowly build the sculpture, until the work is complete.

Artist Fiamma Colonna Montagu added: "We chose the University of Winchester to create 'Open Sanctuary' because of the specific links the University has with interfaith communities and sanctuaries.

"In May 2022, we also find the idea of sanctuary especially resonant - with so many people having to flee from their homes in the Ukraine, as well as Afghanistan and around the world, we have to, in the words of the Buddhist monk Thik Nhat Hahn, (a long time exile himself from his birth country of Vietnam), create a new 'home' or 'sanctuary' elsewhere."

The artists hope that after the exhibition the sculpture will find a permanent home in the city of Winchester as a space for residents and visitors alike to gather, whatever their faith, to be able to meditate on what 'searching for sanctuary' means for them individually.


Visiting the West Downs Gallery

The Gallery is open from 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am until 4pm on Saturdays. The West Downs quarter is a short walk from the city centre. As there is no car parking on campus for visitors, we encourage you to make use of the Winchester Park & Ride, or to use public transport. Buses stop directly outside the West Downs Centre on the Romsey Road. To keep up-to-date with the latest Gallery news please follow us on Instagram.

Exhibiting at the West Downs Gallery

All exhibition proposals are considered by the Vice Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Art, which usually convenes twice a year. There is no charge to exhibit in the Gallery, but the University charges a 30% commission on sales.

If you are interested in submitting an exhibition proposal please contact in the first instance, and details of the selection procedure will be supplied.