The First Gallery

Bitterne, Southampton, UK

The most unusual gallery in the south (BBC south)

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

Director Hilda Margery Clarke BA (Hons), FRSA.
Member of TEG.

Street map

to enable you to find the First gallery.
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 rôle in promoting the work of a previous generation of local artists and in keeping their memories alive. 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!

2002 Programme

Spring 2002 Newsletter

Autumn 2002 Newsletter

Jeff Soan's WOBBLY WOODEN CREATURES 16-23 March 2002

Daily 2-7pm including Sunday 17; other times and after 30 March by telephoning first. Private View Friday 15 March 6-8.30pm. Open Morning Sunday 24 March 11am-2pm. Sinuously moveable wooden creatures from Jeff's crazy "bestiary", all beautifully finished with stain, polish, liming, scorching and sanding. Some of his pieces do not move, but are just begging to be handled.

Follow the link for more

Street map and Travel Instructions

to enable you to find the First gallery.
Jeff Soan's exhibition will be the last for the time being, probably until October 2002.

Briefly, I needed a rest, so I had decided that after Jeff Soan's show I would take a long sabbatical right away from it all. Though the main shows for 2003 were already planned, it would still have meant closing the Gallery for quite a period. I reckoned without my younger son, Paul (who will tell you more in a future bulletin, including about the 2003 programme).

As for me, I send my glad thanks for your loyal support, from some of you over very many years. We could not have achieved anything without you. But be warned: I SHALL BE BACK to check you've not been flagging while I've been away!!!

Happy waves,


Flights of Fancy

An Exhibition about things that fly, celebrated in imagery and objects

Curated by Paul Clarke


Saturday 28 September - Saturday 12 October 2002

2-7pm daily (or by appointment) until Sunday 6 October

7-12 October by prior appointment

(If no reply on main number, try Paul's workshop 01489 891869)

Preview: Friday 27 September 6-9pm
Open Morning: Sunday 13 October 10.30am-1.30pm

Details and Exhibitor List


Saturday 16-Saturday 23 November 2002
2-7pm daily including Sunday

But there will be work on display right up to 24 December, so give us a ring if you're desperate!

The Xmas Show is always a mouth-wateringly unpredictable mixture. This time, our regulars Alvin Betteridge, Clive Bowen, Lotte Glob, Mel Howse, Peter Markey, Sarah Perry and Robert Race will form the main course. The side-dishes, though, feature the exotic flavours of Thailand, Australia & New Zealand, thanks to Margery Clarke's Grand Antipodean Trek! We've found other new lines over the year, too, including decorative wooden puzzles by Gill & Mike Hayduk and oxidised metal sculptural items by Niki & Phil Marr and Ykke Sayer.

Ever alert to keep prices reasonable during the Season of Goodwill and Strained Budgets, The First Gallery's prices start at under £1, with lots to choose from in the range £20 - £50.

For additional thoughts on the history of the Gallery

The First ... 25 Years

Home Page and Current Programme

Street map

to enable you to find the First gallery.

Web design © Wessex Antithesis 2004.