This is an archive of the May 2022 open house festival. View all

University of Brighton Fine Art student exhibition: Towards the Light

The Regency Town House Basement, Housekeeper's Room and Servants’ Hall, 10 Brunswick Square, Hove, BN3 1EH

The exhibition at Regency Town House Basement features artworks by four current University of Brighton Fine Art course students. The artists employ a diversity of art practice forms when addressing the contemporary subjects of relationships, migration, workers value and considerations of identity.

Exhibiting artists:
Finn Gayton
Sara Paowana
Megan Ryan
Melanie Woodward

Sara Paowana investigates her Thai and British heritage in the slide and sound installation work Isaan. The artwork is an intimate account of loss and separation from her mother’s perspective as she reflects on her traumatic migration experience from rural Thailand to Britain.

Melanie Woodward’s Omang series uses fingerprints as a form of self-portraiture to explore and reclaim identity in response to nationality renunciation. Omang presents an organised display of fingerprints as proof of identity, while Omang II in contrast has a disobedient composition of illegible, layered fingerprints which represent a loss of a sense of identity.

Finn Gayton‘s interactive, live performance installation, Lorry Boy, comments on the sociological and political themes of employment relationships and the commodification of people. The artwork examines the relationship between employer, employee, servant and customer.
Finn will be performing on the Saturdays and Sundays: 11am – 1pm, 2 – 3pm and 3.30 – 5pm 

Megan Ryan‘s wax casts of feet in Journey, depict the cycle of a relationship. The wax feet come together, walk in unison and drift apart. During the making process the feet have been burnt to indicate the disintegration of a relationship.


AOH Student Bursary:

This exhibition is sponsored by Katherine Richards Art Gallery
See Katherine Richards Art Gallery for more information on Katherine’s own Open House.


About the artists:

Melanie Woodward is a multidisciplinary artist currently studying on the BA Hons Fine Art course at the University of Brighton. Her practice centres on explorations of identity, archiving, and abstraction. In her artwork Woodward considers the abstractness of identity and its transformability, documenting the complexities caused by changes unfolding around her national identity. Interested in the use of paper in identification documents to document people, she uses the material to investigate its power as an archival tool. Recipient of the runner up award for the 2021 Bridge Awards to support her ongoing investigation into the multiplicities of her identity. Woodward is currently investigating memory and Setswana culture as part of her art practice research. The artist has exhibited in AppositeQuestionings, in Gaborone, Botswana 2019 and the group exhibitions Utopia (online) 2021 and Unearthed 2022 at the University of Brighton Edward Street galleries in England.

Megan Ryan is a multi-disciplinary artist, from Wales who is in her final year studying Fine Art: Sculpture at the University of Brighton. Her sculpture, installation art works and digital collages explore relationships between people and emotions. Megan uses detailed wax and plaster casts of human body parts within her work, often manipulating and amending the initial first casting as part of her process. Colour, form, texture, and space are key components in Megan’s aesthetic and decision making when creating artworks. In some work she experiments with time sensitive materials and uses the effects of weather and the elements to form her artworks.
Showing her work in public online exhibitions during the covid period, Megan is now working towards her final year degree show at the University of Brighton in June 2022. The upcoming work is an installation combining wax casts and digital animation. Interested in the relationship of audience to her work Meg aims to create a work where audiences are enabled to scrutinise details, walk around and within her work.

Brighton based artist Sara Paowana is currently studying Fine Art at the University of Brighton. Born in Thailand, Paowana migrated as a child to the UK. A multidisciplinary artist, her sculpture, installation, drawing and print works examine themes of displacement, loss, separation and familial relationships. Her installation work, Isaan, an intimate account of her Thai mother’s migration journey to the UK, was presentedin the Unearthed exhibition, at theUniversity of Brighton, Edward Street gallery. Paowana co-curated the 2022 University of Brighton Fine Art group Studio Pop-Up exhibition at Grand Parade in March 2022 which featured her sculpture, drawing and print works investigating mother and child relationships.

Finn Gayton is a multidisciplinary artist from Dorset studying on the University of Brighton BA hons Fine Art course. Finn’s work ranges across painting, installation, performance, slide projection, costume and street art and explores sociological and political themes. The experience of studying at collage alongside working on lorries has helped to define Finn’s interest in relationships to work and the commodification of people as a subject of artworks. The work asks questions about societies current hierarchies and social narratives, for example, why society values people in the way it does?

Type of venue:


Archived open house



The Regency Town House Basement, Housekeeper's Room and Servants’ Hall, 10 Brunswick Square, Hove, BN3 1EH

Sara Paowana

Melanie Woodward

Lorry Boy
Finn Gayton

Megan Ryan

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