The First Gallery

Bitterne, Southampton, UK

The most unusual gallery in the South (BBC South)

1 Burnham Chase
Bitterne
Southampton SO18 5DG
Tel. (+44) (0)23 80 462723
E-mail (please follow link)

Director: Hilda Margery Clarke B.A.(Hons.) F.R.S.A.

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Joe Low's Pictures from the Open Portfolio Day July 2003

The CornerShop Picture Framing


Street map and Travel Instructions

to enable you to find "The First" Gallery

On the TV

In 2006, "The First" Gallery was one of the places featured in "The Hidden South", a Meridian TV mini-series about places of interest off the beaten track (by which criterion we certainly qualify!) The piece included work by the artist Eric Meadus (1931 - 70) and photographer Crispin Eurich (1936 - 76) both of whose births were commemorated that year.

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Touring Exhibitions

H. Margery Clarke at her easel 2006


"The First" Gallery is also a private house in Bitterne, where the Clarke family have for many years provided a venue for good but often little-known artists and craftspeople to show and sell their wares. They also have an important role in promoting the work of a previous generation of local artists and in keeping their memories alive. The late Leo Stable, the founder of the John Hansard Gallery on Southampton University Campus was an associate, and the City Art Gallery maintains close links. Lots of people have never heard of "The First" Gallery (part of an ordinary suburban house); many others have made a mental note to come and have a look. Do feel free to ring for directions. While we are tucked away, we're well worth finding!


"The First" Gallery's PRIME ROLE IS SIMPLY AS AN ENABLER, TO MAKE OPPORTUNITIES IN AN ENJOYABLE WAY TO:
  • ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THE ARTS TO SEE AND OWN SUCH THINGS

  • ENCOURAGE PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS AND MAKERS TO EXHIBIT AND SELL THEIR WORK WITHOUT STRESS

  • DEMONSTRATE HOW THINGS WOULD LOOK IN ONE'S OWN HOME, WELL-PRESENTED IN A DOMESTIC SETTING

  • SHOW THAT ART DOES ENRICH EVERYDAY LIFE JUST BY HAVING IT AROUND YOU

  • PROVIDE AN ATMOSPHERE OF CALM, WHERE VISITORS ARE GUESTS, SO THERE IS NO PRESSURE TO BUY

  • REMAIN SMALL SO THAT IT IS PERSONAL
LIKE TOPSY, "The First" Gallery ITSELF JUST GROWED FROM ITS SMALL BEGINNINGS IN 1968/9 (NOT THAT IT IS LARGE).

ORIGINALLY THE SPACE WAS MERELY THE SQUARE HALL BUT GRADUALLY EXTENDED UNTIL IT NOW INCLUDES ALL THE HOUSE EXCEPT THE BEDROOMS.

IN ORDER TO EXPAND, YET NOT INTERFERE WITH THE WELCOMING FEEL OF A FAMILY HOME, "The First" Gallery TOURING SHOWS WERE INTRODUCED AND HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, FROM THE Isle of Wight TO THE Shetlands AND FROM Falmouth to Wick.

SUBSEQUENTLY, THE LITTLE Patio Show OF POTS AND GARDEN RELATED THINGS HAS ALSO "GROWED" AND A PREVIOUSLY HIDDEN PATCH OF GROUND WAS TRANSFORMED INTO THE NEW "Secret Sculpture Garden" IN June 2000.


Paul Clarke (Margery's son, framer and assistant)

EXHIBITIONS PROGRAMME 2006-8

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2006 had originally been mooted as the launch-date for the Eric Meadus, because it's his 75th anniversary. Since part of our "policy" (inasmuch as we have anything so formal!) is to keep his flame alive, we are commemorating his birthday (18 May 1931) in a small way with some activities around two exhibitions of his paper-based work (most of them never before exhibited):

[regulars, please note: unusual night for our Previews]

Thursday 18th May 6 - 9 pm
ERIC MEADUS: PORTRAITS AND PLACES on paper
PRIVATE VIEW at "The First" Gallery

Friday 19th May 2 - 7 pm
Exhibition open to view, at "The First" Gallery

Saturday 20th May 11am - 7 pm
Exhibition open to view, at "The First" Gallery

IDENTIFICATION DAY: we'd like anyone with local knowledge of Southampton and its hinterland in the early 60s to come along and help identify the distinctive, but intriguingly unannotated, landmarks and unsung corners of his home town that caught Eric Meadus' eye.

While local historians, esp. those with photographic collections, would be invaluable to this process, anyone who may have walked past the same locations day in, day out, e.g. on their way to work, might be prompted to remember what they think they've forgotten by the sight of these drawings. The discussions occasioned by the meeting of like minds often prompts more detailed recall. (During a previous exhibition, a retired beat policeman was able to identify several locations, including some consisting just of rooflines, since the police are trained to keep an eye on upper storeys, as Eric Meadus - for more aesthetic reasons! - was also wont to do. So you don't need any particular historical knowledge to be of help).

Eric drew in many areas, as well as Swaythling for which he is renowned: the City Centre (esp. round the Pirelli factory; Central Station / Polygon; Bedford Place; Manchester Street; Portland Terrace; Chapel & The Deanery; Terminus Terrace; Queen's Park, down to the Floating Bridge terminal) almost any area which had bomb-sites; St. Mary's; Northam; Mount Pleasant; Bevois Valley; probably Derby Road area (before it became red-light); St. Denys; Shirley (we believe); West End; Netley; Weston; Eastleigh; Chandler's Ford. Anyone familiar with those areas may help in our research.

Friday 19th to Wednesday 31st May (incl.) Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm
DISPLAY of LOCAL IMAGES by Eric Meadus, at PETER RHODES Bookshop

21 Portswood Road Southampton (023) 8039 9003

For those who do not already know of this bookshop, it is a treasure worth finding. Not only is it brimming with tempting secondhand books, but really good tea and coffee, etc. are served. There are chairs and little tables where you can sit in the friendly atmosphere for as long as you like. In the summer some are outside (in fact, they've already appeared on sunny days this year!)

Sunday 21st 11 am - 2 pm
SPECIAL OPENING at "The First"

Sunday 21st 2.45pm (till approx. 4.30 / 5pm)
RIDE-&-WALK-ABOUT starting at Peter Rhodes Bookshop
(window display will be viewable, even if not entire exhibition there: see below).

IF THE WEATHER IS INCLEMENT, THE RIDE-&-WALK-ABOUT WILL BE POSTPONED UNTIL THE FOLLOWING (Bank Holiday) SUNDAY, 28th May

On Sunday, the shop is normally closed, but it is possible Peter may open specially for the half-hour before the Ride-&-Walk-about. Eric Meadus was born in Rigby Road, right round the corner.

For more on this walkabout and some Meadus examples, see "The First" Gallery Spring Newsletter

Monday 22nd to Wednesday 31st May (incl.)
Exhibition at "The First" open BY APPOINTMENT

- this can be mornings, afternoons or evenings (from Tuesday 23rd, exhibition at Peter Rhodes continues, open during his shop hours: Tues - Sat 10 - 5)
The Red Church 1970
A WORK FROM THE CITY'S COLLECTION at
Southampton City Art Gallery May 19 - June 18
Also in 2006, Margery herself had a show of

works on paper in the foyer of Southampton City Art Gallery

opening on 10 June 2006 and running until the end of July.


CRISPIN EURICH, photographer (1936 - 76)

Crispin Eurich would have been 70 this year (see the full text of the newsletter from which this extract is taken at the top of the page). We intended to celebrate this with a full exhibition of previously unseen work and launch a dedicated website. On reflection, it needed more time to produce the standard of show envisaged, so we have postponed it. Instead, a less ambitious exhibition is already open, running until the Xmas Show in November. This can be seen by appointment (023) 8046 2723. "The First" Gallery is entrusted with the Eurich photographic archive, a large collection of negatives and prints. Our aim is to re-establish Crispin's reputation, eventually with his own national tour and perhaps a publication.

Collections of postcards / books with photo-illustrations by Crispin Eurich are available at "The First" Gallery now, and will be made available by mail order through this site over the coming weeks. We hope to put up a small virtual photo-gallery, so those not within geographic reach of us can enjoy the talents of this remarkable photographer.

Crispin was the son of the painter Richard Eurich RA (1903 - 92). Initially he intended to follow in his father's footsteps, so began training at Southampton Art College. An accident to his hand, coupled with winning first prize in a 1950s Photokina competition, changed his direction. Henceforward the camera became his constant companion.

Before moving to London, where he was based for most of his career, Crispin lived with his family at Dibden Purlieu, in the north-eastern New Forest near Southampton Water. Fascinated by technology, he approached Esso (who have a major oil-refinery at Fawley, a few miles down the estuary) for permission to take photos at their plant, but was refused. In typically determined Eurich fashion, he proceeded to take pictures of the terminal from outside and submitted the results to them. Immediately the gates were opened for him and he was engaged by them freelance for the rest of his life. He travelled widely on assignments and was in the midst of a successful career when, before reaching 40, he died of a brain tumour. The full breadth of his oeuvre cannot be depicted by just a few images. His background and training bring an exceptionally painterly eye to bear on his subject. There is much kindly but sly and / or hidden humour, typical of the man. Artistically, there is an astonishing level of acheivement in many fields: (among others) people, architectural, industrial; areas which are usually photographic specialisms in their own right.

In 1987, we were planning an exhibition to commemorate the Lowry Centenary. He had connections with the city (hence "The Floating Bridge" painting in the Southampton City Art Gallery Collection) but their paintings were in Salford for the big national show. We decided to show drawings, just to mark the occasion. We knew about Crispin's now famous image of Lowry standing in his black coat outside his house in Mottram (which has since become a defining image of him, used enormously enlarged at the R.A. memorial exhibition and now, with others of Crispin's portraits, at The Lowry in Salford). Thanks to the late John Bulford* we discovered the posthumous publication "The Gentle Eye" (which title has been adopted by the octogenarian photographer Jane Bown; it was originated by Richard Eurich for the book), produced [we understand] to accompany Crispin's retrospective at The Photographers Gallery, London, in 1979. (Miss Bown had requested the use of it for her own NPG exhibition in 1980).

We originally contacted Richard for permission to use the photo on our publicity but, seeing the full stature of Crispin's work and the risk of its being lost, we decided to make a joint exhibition "Two Memorable Men", giving each equal prominence. This mushroomed into a long-running national tour — and a rich friendship with the Eurich family — with the further hope (achieved, in practice) of putting Crispin's work before audiences who would be tempted to come and look because of the Lowry name. Interspersing the two men's work illustrated some unsuspected parallels of compositional ideas, subject matter and co-incidence of places.

Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, we can't put any Lowry images on the site to show you what we mean, but this highly Lowryesque shot was (surely coincidentally) taken at one of his favourite seaside resorts.


Men Sitting on Railings, Lytham St. Annes

Crispin would have been 70 this year [2006]. We intended to celebrate this with a full exhibition of previously unseen work and launch a dedicated website. On reflection, it needed more time to produce the standard of show envisaged, so we have postponed it; 2008 is, we believe, 50 years since he turned professional, so we hope to have several events and exposures of his work. Meanwhile, a selection of his original prints will form part of the Xmas Show in November. "The First" Gallery is entrusted with the Eurich photographic archive, the bulk of Crispin's negatives and prints. Our aim is to re-establish his reputation, eventually with his own national tour and perhaps a publication.

Collections of postcards / books with photo-illustrations by Crispin Eurich are available at "The First" Gallery now, and will be available by mail order through this site after March 1st 2008. We hope to put up a small virtual photo-gallery, so those not within geographic reach of us can enjoy the talents of this remarkable photographer.

* Southampton Art College tutor, who taught Crispin cabinet-making (which would have formed part of his complementary studies, as would have been standard practice in the 50s)

There are more details about the touring exhibition on this link "Two Memorable Men"
and some more of Crispin's Photographs on view.



33rd Christmas Show
Sat. 10th - Sat. 24th NOVEMBER 2007


Private View: Fri. 9th Nov. 6 - 9pm
until Sun. 18th, incl.: 2 - 7pm, (or by appointment) daily
after 18th, just ring 023 80 462723 to fix a mutually agreeable time to visit (am / pm /eve'gs)
Festive Final Morning Special: Sun. 25th Nov. 11am - 2pm

A more compact display remains visitable by appointment until Dec. 24th

The First ’s 33rd Xmas Show features over two dozen makers who exhibit widely but sparsely: some are well-known, others obscure, but all have that rarely-found extra spark of originality. Despite the proliferation of ‘Open Studios’, we maintain our fresh feel, with a consistently high quality, springing from our policy of only showing what we ourselves would wish to own.

Money is not our prime motivation, but we don’t hide our prices, which range from less than £1 to over £100, with most between £20 and £50.

We always feature people we’ve not exhibited before: our renowned warm welcome is extended to all visitors (and makers) but especially to this year’s newcomers,


Pictures from the Show

porcelain by Sasha Wardell

glass by Jonathan Andersson

and Andrew Potter & Rebecca Morgan

papier-mâché by Philip Cox

and Renate Forsyth

watercolours & acrylics by Jan Janes

photographs & hand-made books by Liz Knight

jewellery by Wai-Yuk Kennedy

(her first showing in the Central South)

and Iona MacKenzie Laycock

wood-turning by Colin A. Smith


Regulars include:

POTS by Alvin Betteridge | Clive Bowen | Lotte Glob | Sarah Perry

PAINTINGS by Philippa Bambach | H. M. Clarke | Richard Head | Eric Meadus (1931 – 70) | Tim Robinson

FABRIC by Lynne Hudson | Elizabeth Nash | Rachel L. Reynolds

JEWELLERY by Geoff D. Clarke (1925 – 98)| Lynne Hudson | Sarah Perry

AUTOMATA by Robert Race | John Lumbus | Peter Markey | Jeff Soan | Angela & Laurence St. Leger

also TOYS | FRAMING | PRINTS


sculpture

Jacqui Lea

Suzie Marsh

Geoff Poulton

leadlights

Colin Twinn

forged iron

Jayne Wilson

photographs

Crispin Eurich (1936 – 76)

turned wood

Tony Caplin

Peter Westermann

Malcolm Wiggins

and others


There and Here

Hilda Margery Clarke's paintings from Thailand, Oz, NZ and England 2004-7

29 March - 12 April 2008 - now Extended to 20 April (this overlaps with our glass display)

Follow Link for an Extensive set of Reproductions on the web

Open Morning Sunday 13 April 11-2
Ring for an appointment at other times


FOCUS ON...

A series of small, themed displays for 2008, each running for approx. a month between our main events. No Private Views, no Open Mornings. To visit, it's your call — literally! Just ring up 023 8046 2723 and tell us when you'd like to come. This can be mornings, afternoons or evenings, anything from (say) two weeks hence to sometime within the next 20 mins. (because you're "just round the corner"). If it's not convenient then, we'll say so; otherwise you can pop in.

Focus on... Glass

the Gallery's entire stock of glassware and related material (e.g. leadlights, enamel, deep-glazed ceramics, etc.)

Open until Sunday 18th May by appointment only.

Work by William Walker, Potter-Morgan (Andrew Potter & Rebecca Morgan), Tim Casey, Jonathan Andersson, Colin Twinn, Lotte Glob, Geoff. D. Clarke (1925 - 98) and probably others.

Follow link for pdf file with images and descriptions of many of the works on display.


Focus on... Prints

On now until Thurs July 17th Open by appt.

Display of framed and unframed work by Tony Évora, Elizabeth Nash, Christopher Browne, H. M. Clarke, Stephen Powell, Robert Tavener and others
Illustrated in linked pdf files: a selection of exhibits:-
  • Tony Évora
  • Elizabeth Nash and Stephen Powell
  • Christopher Browne and H. M. Clarke

  • OPEN PORTFOLIO WEEKEND 2008

    Discover for yourself “the most unusual gallery in the South” (BBC South) and enjoy the unpretentious, welcoming atmosphere of our Gallery-in-a-House

    5 INVITED ARTISTS with work in their folios

    SARAH VAN NIEKERK

    ELIZABETH NASH . SUSAN ANDERSON

    ELIZABETH KNIGHT . MAURA SUMMERS

    View, discuss and buy artwork direct from the makers
    Price range c. £30 – £150+

    Though not here in person (and believe me, we tried!), Cuban designer
    TONY ÉVORA has a display of ’70s / ’80s work in The Space Upstairs. Sat 12th & Sun 13th July 11.30am – 4.30pm

    In practice, most artists will be present from 11am. If coming to see anyone especially, do ring to check their availability. On Saturday, both Sarah van Niekerk and Elizabeth Nash are travelling from a distance, hence our later ‘official’ start-time; on Sunday, only Liz Nash is.

    Many print-based media: engraving, monoprint, collagraphy, etching, screenprint, photography, etc. While all the exhibitors are printmakers (in some sense of the word) most will also be displaying other aspects of their output. Some artists may undertake small-scale demonstrations during the day.

    ‘ THE FIRST ’ GALLERY The First Burnham Chase Bitterne SOUTHAMPTON (023) 8046 2723


    "September Already?" top automatist Paul Spooner hits 60

    Record-breaking exhibition to mark the year he hits 60

    Paul Spooner in his workshop, Sept. 2005 © by Alan Mahon

    The most widely-known UK automatist in the world (may still be true, even without "UK") marks the year of reaching his dotage with a display of new (and probably some past) work. In salute of his qualifying for free bus-travel, some 40 other automata-makers (click to download pdf brochure), and about a dozen other creative friends, family members and fans exhibit work alongside. We think this is the largest concentration of automatists ever in the South. Since new names are still being located, and invited, it may turn out to be the UK's biggest ever, with a fair-sized international contingent. Click here for a rough-cut of exhibit images (you'll need a full-screen window for some of these - on a modern browser you can scale the image by using the right hand button and the 'view image' or similar menu entry).

    Sat 13th - Sat 27th September 2 - 7pm (or by appt.) daily, incl. Suns.

    We will be devoting one corner to mark the centenary of Sam Smith (1908 - 83) a Southampton man whose sculpted and jointed figures, while most emphatically not automata, darkly caricature the human condition, and stimulated a fair proportion of Paul Spooner's co-exhibitors to become automatists themselves. Sam was also personally encouraging to two [now] doyens of the movement, Peter Markey and Frank Nelson.

    Virtual Gallery Tour

    Some General Views of the Gallery Exhibition for "September Already?":

      

      

      


    34th Christmas Show

    Sat. 8th – Sat. 22nd November 2008

    Private View: Fri. 7th Nov. 6 – 9pm

    UNTIL Sun. 16th, incl.:  2 – 7pm, daily
    or by appointment (which can be mornings, or later in the evenings)

    AFTER 16th, just ring 023 8046 2723 to fix a mutually
    agreeable time to visit (mornings, afternoons, or evenings)

    Festive Final Sunday:  23rd Nov.  11am – 2pm

    A more compact display remains visitable by appointment until Dec. 24th


    [Click on an image for enlarged version]

    Something fishy at this year’s show?
    Jeff Soan’s dramatic blue moveable wooden fish [photo A] (the largest of quite a flotilla!)
    Ian Gregory’s brown salt-glazed ceramic one
    [photo B];  newcomer Beryl Hines’ raku ‘shoal’ [photo C] swim up one wall
    Lotte Glob’s huge (67cm / 26½") fish-shaped platter
    [photo D] would make a spectacular centrepiece for any dinner party,
    and contrasts sharply with the TINY goldfish bowl automata by Angela & Laurence St. Leger [photo E;  also – look closely! – D].
    A goldfish bowl
    [photo F] is also the subject of one of Tim Robinson’s collages (a taster of his solo show here in the Spring).
    There is a Seaside  mug and cup, with marine motifs (including ‘eel’ handles)
    [photo G], by UK-based Japanese potter Taja.
    Exhibits from Peter Lennertz
    [also photo G] spill over from “September Already?” (that wonderful automata show) while
    Robert Race’s mesmeric Fluttering Fish piece
    [photo H] is part of a larger selection of his new work this November.
    Fishing-flies
    [photo I] all the way from New Zealand, resplendent in their wooden box,
    complement a range of sushi dishes
    [photo J] by New Forest potter Jonathan Garratt
    and decorated fabric iPod®-carriers
    [photo K] by Elizabeth Nash.

    This doesn’t mean the show is totally piscine!  Despite the fish in the bill of Philip Coxpapier mâché seagull [photo L], or
    Sue Evans’ sea-themed automata and wooden decorations
    [also photo L], or fishing-port houses and boats [photo M] made of
    decorated reclaimed wood by Victor Stuart Graham, there are plenty of non-watery goodies in this wide-ranging show.
    As usual, the normally ‘hard-to-find’ is here in profusion, making this exhibition the one where you’ll find something
    “exactly right”, rather than “just about OK”, for your special friends or loved ones.  “That’ll do” is not good enough for us!

    Prices range from under £2 to over £300, with a wide choice between £20 and £50.

    Virtual Tour of the Show



    EXHIBITOR LIST   [IN CAPS = quite a few pieces of work previously unshown here;   * = “new face” at The First ]
    number varies, according to style / size of work

    CERAMICS by  Maria AndrewsClive BowenBruce ChiversJONATHAN GARRATTLotte GlobPaul GreenBeryl Hines * |  Sarah PerryTaja

    IMAGES by  Susan Anderson [prints] |  H. M. Clarke [paintings & prints] |  Elizabeth Knight [photographs] |
                                   TIM ROBINSON [collages] |  Sarah van Niekerk [wood engravings]

    FABRIC & TEXTILES by  Margery Clarke [soft toys] |  HAZEL BURROWS [silk scarves] |  LYNNE HUDSON [knitted scarves & jackets;  crocheted
                  oil-lamp & Xmas Tree decorations] | ELIZABETH NASH [painted / dyed silk hangings, accessories & canvases] | Rachel L. Reynolds [stitched felted pictures]

    JEWELLERY by  LYNNE HUDSON [mizuhiki] |  WAI-YUK KENNEDY [stitched embroidered felted ear-rings / brooches]

    AUTOMATA by  Sue EvansJohn LumbusPeter LennertzPETER MARKEYROBERT RACEJEFF SOANANGELA & LAURENCE St. LEGER

    GLASS by  Jonathan AnderssonAndrew Potter & Rebecca MorganColin TwinnWilliam Walker

    SCULPTURE by  Suzie MarshGeoff Poulton

    PAPER PRODUCTS by  H. M. Clarke [hand-coloured gift-wrap] |  PHILIP COX [papier mâché] |  Elizabeth Knight [hand-made books] | SYLVIA ROBINSON [découpage boxes] *

    TURNED WOOD by  Tony CaplinJoe FreemanJohn MacKinvenColin A. SmithPeter WestermannMalcolm Wiggins

    OTHER WOOD by  Paul Clarke [hand-coloured framing] |  SUE EVANS [jigsaw-cut sculptures] |  VICTOR STUART GRAHAM [sculptures & decorations]

    also  BOOKS CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS CUT-OUTS & CARDS



    CUTTING EDGE
    An Exhibition of Collages by
    TIM ROBINSON

        
    13-27 June 2009
    2-7pm (or by appt) until 21 June, thereafter please ring to fix a time.
    Open Morning Sun 28 June 11am-2pm
    during which sold exhibits may be taken away

    Tim Robinson uses collage, a relatively modern method using pieces of paper stuck to a surface, introduced by Picasso in the 1920s. He cuts and places the paper in a considered yet random way that evolves during the making. His work reaches into areas generally painted in oils, reintroducing favourite themes as well as exploring different experimental images.

    In Tim's words, 'The joy of this form of picture making continues to inspire and challenge, with the hope of more to come'.

    Tim's work is well known, having exhibited solo recently at several galleries in East Anglia and in Southampton City Art Gallery. He has a piece in the permanent collection of the House of Lords.

    More Pictures and Details


    LITTLE 'UNS Small pictures by Hilda Margery Clarke

    5-19 September 2009

    LITTLE ’UNS

    H. M. Clarke’s exhibition of tiny-to-small* oil-paintings
    packing a surprisingly powerful punch

    Sat. 5th – Sun. 13th Sept.,  2 – 7pm, daily

    Mon. 14th – Sat. 19th,  by arrangement, at any reasonable time

    PV:  Fri. 4th,  6 – 9pm     Open Morning:  Sun. 20th,  11am – 2pm

    * less than 1m. / 39½″ perimeter; smallest 8.5 5cm / 3½″ 2″

    Recent cataloguing of Hilda Margery Clarke’s oil-paintings revealed an estimated lifetime’s total approaching 675.  Little ’uns comprises at least 10% of this output.  Alongside what she would call her full-size works, for much of the 45+ years she’s used the medium, HMC has created pictures on small offcuts of board.  Often evolving from end-of-session paint applied with no endpoint in view, they ‘grow’ through inspiration and suggestion.  It’s no surprise to her, though it may be to you, that these images can be as powerful as those much larger.

    Sampler Index

    Despite their size, such paintings can’t be just dashed off.  Even those that look as if they were completed at one sitting have been worked over with the same artistic rigour as HMC dedicates to something measuring 1 sq. m. or more, attending to paint-quality (one of her hallmarks), texture, visual balance, etc.  None of these aspects are input consciously:  her method is far more intuitive than that.  Retaining the original freshness after she has re-worked the surface indicates a level of skill only acquired after long experience.

    Tiny pictures can often find niches in overlooked corners of your home.  The arrestingly inventive ‘hang’ of this show should inspire you to find new spaces for pictures, even in already crowded rooms.  A whole display of teeny-weeny originals would be visually indigestible but many of our walls, usually hung with just one work, will be laid out with a focal painting close to A4 size (still “small”, in art terms) surrounded by many smaller ones.

    The exhibition (in "The First" Gallery’s programme as a late-replacement for another, postponed until Spring) happens to suit the current financial climate, with prices starting under £100 and many under £250.


    Tribute to DAVID ORCHARD
    woodcarver, pyrographer and cabinetmaker
    Display of work ( birds/objects )
    10-11 October 2009
    Sat 11am-4pm Sun 11am-3pm

    The display features examples of David Orchard's carved and pyrographed birds and animals, chip-carved boxes, display-cases, abstract wood sculptures, furniture, books and press-cuttings. Those who thought they knew what he could do will be surprised by the range. While this event is primarily to remember David, a very small number of exhibits will be for sale

    More detail and pictures for the David Orchard show (pdf)

    Sunday 3pm
    An Appreciation by
    Professor Peter Morice

    (former Head of the University's Civil Engineerinf Dept, where David was Chief Technician.
    Invitation only - please contact the Gallery if you haven't had yours.)

    PYROGRAPHY, often misnamed 'pokerwork', uses a hot needle to scorch the wood surface. In the hands of a master-craftsman like David Orchard, it becomes a technique capable of sophisticated, subtle texture and shade.


    35th XMAS SHOW
    14-28 November 2009 (note change of date)
    Special Feature: Xmas Cards early 20th Century to present day
    and Automata (neil Hardy, Sue Evans and others

    Follow Link for full details


    PROGRAMME FOR 2010

    STILL MOVING

    joint exhibition of new* work by automatist ROBERT RACE and reclaimed-wood sculptor VICTOR STUART GRAHAM
    March 13th-27th
    * with small retrospective element

    Sat 13th - Sun 21st 2-7pm
    Mon 27th onwards - any previously agreed time

    Follow Link for pictures and details


    FIRST GALLERY SUMMER EXHIBITION AT MOTTISFONT

    Saturday 4 - Thursday 9 September 2010 in the Stable Block 11am-5pm
    Normal Mottisfont entry charges apply (members free)

    A Selection of First Gallery artists past and present
    (click for pictorial tour)

    • SUE ANDERSON printmaker
      based in Southampton

    • PHILIPPA BAMBACH painter; musician
      born / based in New Forest (although currently peripatetic)

    • HILDA MARGERY CLARKE painter; Gallery founder / director
      born Manchester; based in Southampton

    • CRISPIN EURICH photographer
      born / died Dibden; based in London / UK-wide / sometimes abroad

    • RICHARD HEAD painter
      based in Byfleet, Surrey

    • PETER MARKEY painter; automatist
      born Swansea; was based in London, later Falmouth, Cornwall; now in mid-Wales

    • ERIC MEADUS draughtsman; painter
      born / worked / died in Southampton

      liELIZABETH NASH silk-painter; printmaker
      was based in Broughton; now in Tisbury, Wilts.

    • 'RAY' REYNOLDS textile artist; tutor
      born near Blandford Forum, Dorset; based in Southampton

    • TIM ROBINSON collagist; painter; conservator
      born London; based in Romsey

    • ALAN WILSON painter
      was based in Allbrook, later Pembroke; Angelsey; now in Cornwall

    OTHER ARTISTS on show have almost all exhibited with us, but the pieces here are either all we have, or are part of a very limited stock, which we cannot add to.

    Where indicated, framing is by PAUL CLARKE of The CornerShop. He can be contacted via "The First" Gallery 023 8046 2723

    See http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont for travel etc

    See the Beatrix Potter Exhibition at the same time (July-September 11-4.30, closed on Fridays and on Monday 13 September)


    NOVEMBER: 36th XMAS SHOW

    Our regular festive cornucopia
    13 – 27 November 2010

    (follow the link for full information)

    Please note that, if you've found this site during our second week (Nov. 22nd – 27th) you need to ring first to check that someone's in attendance to let you in; if so, you can just turn up. This informal arrangement operates year round, whenever there's no main show on.

    Even during exhibitions, if you wish to – or can only – visit outside our set drop-in times of 2 – 7pm daily (which apply during the first 9 days of every show), the same ring-up-and-turn-up system runs (as long as someone is in, of course!)


    Coming Soon

    themed exhibition centred on ELIZABETH NASH’s
    through-the-season cycle
    of prints and other media
    with works by other invited artists
    in response to this mythical character
    April 2nd – 16th 2011

    ARTISTS CONFIRMED SO FAR:
    Christopher Browne     John Chipp     H. M. Clarke     Elizabeth Knight     Tamsin Loveday     David McDiarmid     Jo Price     “Ray” Reynolds      Laleh Yeganegy

    and likely to contribute are:  Susan Anderson    Lynne Hudson    Olivia Keith
    Revisit nearer opening date for finalised list

    Media to include:  drawing    painting    bas-relief & wicker sculpture    print    book-works    digital photography    textiles


    ERIC MEADUS Close Up EXHIBITION

    9th July - 14th August 2011

    Opening Hours — first & last weekends 11am – 6pm
    Sat. / Sun. 9th / 10th July & 13th / 14th August
    All dates in between (11th Jul. – 12th Aug.): open by appointment

    to mark the official unveiling of Eric Meadus Close, off Wessex Lane, next to Swaythling Station. This is a terrace of social housing, on the former Vincents Van Hire site, by Raglan Housing Association and Orchard Homes & Developments, with support from Southampton City Council.

    More Information - Click Here


    Autumn 2011

    TURN A SURPRISE
    NEIL HARDY & PETER LENNERTZ

    Amusing moveable pieces by two established automata-makers; follow link for more

    Sat. 3rd – Sat. 17th September
    HOURS: UNTIL Sun. 11th incl. 2 – 7pm, daily; other times by prior arrangement.
    FROM Mon. 12th, please ring to fix a time
    Pre-View Fri. 2nd Sept. 6 – 9pm
    Special Final Sunday Opening 18th Sept. 11am – 2pm


    37th Christmas Show 2011

    12-26 November




    17-24 March 2012
    2-7pm daily

    PPP I

    Posters Prints and Publications

    Follow Link for a massive collection of images from the Exhibition


    "Then and Now": paintings past and present by Hilda Margery Clarke

    May 12th – 26th
    Opening times until Sunday 20th, incl.: 2 – 7pm (or other times by pre-arrangement), daily
    from Monday 21st, please don't just turn up: hours are by pre-arrangement, at any agreed time
    PREVIEW Friday 11th 6 – 9pm
    Final Morning PRIVATE VIEW Sunday 27th 11am – 2pm

    More ...

    Seen and Felt

    a joint exhibition by Ray Reynolds & Olivia Keith

    8th – 23rd September 2012
    Open WEEKENDS 11am – 6pm; weekdays, by pre-arrangement [i.e. no drop-in hours]

    More ...

    (these visiting times are a change to our previous pattern, and will apply to future exhibitions until further notice)

    38th Xmas Show

    10-25 November 2012

    Special Feature: Suzie Marsh animal sculptures
    plus
    mixed display on the theme of Cycles

    Sats/Suns 11am-6pm
    Weekdays: only by prior arrangement
    Friday evening Preview 9 Nov 6-9pm


    2013 Events

    9th – 24th March
    The Wonder Of Peter Markey
    A selling retrospective exhibition of drawings, paintings & prints by an artist of literally extraordinary vision, best known for his automata


    Open Portfolio Weekend with tutors / associates of RED HOT PRESS

    Six printmakers [mostly] here with their work for sale direct from their folios

    Sat. / Sun. 15th / 16th June 2013 11am – 4pm


    coming up

    A Gathered Radiance:
    late and early works by
    Richard Eurich R.A., O.B.E
    . (1903 - 92)

    June 29th - July 28th 2013


    Out of the Wood: ROBERT RACE automata, KEN BRIFFETT inventive turnery & sculpture, VICTOR STUART GRAHAM mostly sea-themed recycled-materials sculpture and beyond

    All at the Gallery in person with their work Sat. / Sun. 14th / 15th September 11am - 4pm

    Follow Link for full details


    NEXT EVENT:
    CONVIVIAL WEEKEND

    Our usual eclectic mix of intriguing, well-made, good-value pieces with the Season of Goodwill & Stretched Budgets in mind.

    9th-10TH November
    10.30am-6pm
    with brandied mince pies
    then drop-in hours at weekends only, by appt. weekdays

    FESTIVE FINAL DAY

    Sunday 1st December 10.30am-4pm
    coffee and pies


    JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2014

    The "First" in conjunction with Southampton City Art Gallery

    ERIC MEADUS SHOW


    Outside Eye — Inside Eye: Representation to Abstraction Prints and Paintings
    DILYS BRYON, former Chair of Printmakers' Council, marks 40 years of printmaking
    Sat. 8th March – Sun. 6th April


    a Weekend with ALVIN BETTERIDGE  pots and sculpture;

    H. M. CLARKE  original prints
    reprising the pairing of the first serious art show at "The First" in 1974

    Sat. / Sun. 28th / 29th June and on (watch this space)  11am - 4:30pm


    NEXT EVENT:  Weekend with PHILIPPA BAMBACH  paintings & drawings (& possibly prints) Sat. 13th & Sun. 14th Sept. 2014.   11am - 4:30pm. 

      Display viewable beyond that (with no Philippa!), at any mutually agreed time, by pre-arrangement, until c.30th Oct. Also, some 20 paintings and drawings by Eric Meadus on show upstairs. His selection will change periodically until the same date.

    After that, it´s our 40th* (yes 40th !!) Xmas Show    8th - 23rd Nov. Open weekends 10:30am - 6pm;  weekdays by pre-arrangement * counting consecutively:  there were 2 earlier ones, in 1968 & -69, involving Meadus, before our first 1975 `edition´.  The sequence was curtailed by his sudden premature death.


    Touring Shows

    Two Memorable Men

    Crispin Eurich (1936 - 76)

    L.S.Lowry (1887 - 1976)

    Seen at Beverley and Gateshead Art Galleries, Yorkshire, Spring 2000

    (to coincide with the LOWRY CENTRE MILLENNIUM EXHIBITION in Salford)

    Now on tour again in Hampshire:

    Eastleigh Museum     25 High Street     023 8064 3026     until Sat. Oct. 27th

    Aldershot Military Museum    Queen's Drive    01252 314598    Sat. Nov. 3rd — Sat. Dec. 22nd

    The Allen Gallery, Alton    Church Street    01420 82802    Sat. Jan. 12th — Sat. March 1st 2008


     

    Architect at Leisure

    Watercolours and Drawings by Arthur Mattinson (1853 - 1932)

    Available for hire


     

    Jacqueline Mair Tour

    [No Longer available in this form]

    was previewed with a selection of the works at "The First" Gallery on Sunday 19 September 1999.

    It was based on her one-woman exhibition in June 1997 at the Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, organised by Les Buckingham (who also wrote the catalogue) but with later additions, including some relating to Mexico.


     

    Spring 2006 Newsletter:-
    Peter Markey's Birthday Party * Meadus mini-Shows and Walkabout * Plans

    A selection of works by "The First" Gallery artists

    2005 Programme and News

    2004 Programme and News

    2003 Programme and News

    2002 Programme and News

    2001 Programme and News

    2000 Programme and News

    1999 Programme, News and Brief Artistic History

    The First ... 25 Years

    Summary of 1996-1998 Programme

    Visit FOSMAG Friends of Southampton's Museums Archives and Galleries.


    Web design © Wessex Antithesis 2002-9.
    For links to related organisations, see Hampshire County Council's Hantsweb.