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 the West Downs Centre on Romsey Road, our flagship campus developmentd. 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

John Browning

18 August - 27 September 2023

various shaped kites hanging in front of plain gallery wall

From an early age John Browning always wanted to be a chemist and so he turned out to be one. During a career as a scientist and inventor, he always retained a deep interest in the fine arts.

Many years ago he began making and flying kites; always more interested in the use of traditional materials such as paper, silk and bamboo. Inspired by the work of French artist Claude Léa Comallonga, he started to use only natural materials to make his kites. Experimentation, scientific knowledge, patience and determination all combine in John’s processes to create ‘sheets’ of leaves, seed pods and fibres which meld together under pressure without using glue.

The resultant forms are unique. The delicate translucent shapes and the spaces between them reveal the beauty and intricacy of nature’s work. There is a rigor and poetry in these kites that transforms them into works of art- that fly ! John has exhibited at shared, international and solo exhibitions, gives informative illustrated lectures, and is always looking for more opportunities to share his passion for kites.

See more of his creations on his website.


Upcoming exhibitions

Andrew Carnie 'Being Human: Seeing Ourselves' - October through November 2023


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 or email to be added to our mailing list.

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.