The First Gallery

Bitterne, Southampton, UK

1 Burnham Chase
Bitterne
Southampton SO18 5DG.
Tel. (+44) (0)23 80 462723.

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

E-mail (please follow link)

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!


2005 Programme

Richard Head Web and Live Exhibition

The same exhibition
in two places at once!

Here on the Web and for real at
"The First" Gallery, Southampton

until 5 July 2005


All the work on these special exhibition pages can be seen 'in the flesh' at "The First" by phoning 023 8046 2723 to make an appt.


Jacqueline Mair Web and Live Exhibition

"My Favourite Things"

20 new prints, collages and paintings

mid July - 21 August 2005

Here on the Web and for real at
"The First" Gallery, Southampton

"We tell the stories we have to tell and perhaps return to the same stories again and again. We tell the stories that draw us in on things we care about, the intuitive responses to draw and paint the objects around us. We rely on trusting of instincts rather than intellect to organise the surface, it gives us a licence to explore, to enhance our sense of wonder, to rediscover, to intuitively respond to the abstract qualities of familiar objects. A favourite flower, a shopping list, a squeeze of lemon, a spoonful of kindness. All of these help us to make objects that talk and then we can listen to them."
Left: My Birthday Jug    2005    collage on paper

Jacqueline Mair

This exhibition revels in the familiar objects that Jacqueline Mair likes to explore through collage, print, mixed media and painting.

Jacqueline had a previous Travelling Exhibition curated by Margery which may still be viewed to give a feel for her work and you may

Visit Jacqui's Own Website

and her Contact-me Entry


On to The First Gallery Web Catalogue of Jacqui's Work


Peter Markey, a full exhibition (40 new paintings and 20 recent automata)

To celebrate his 75th birthday on 17th September 2005

Newsletter with Report of Peter's Birthday Party



Peter Markey's Wave Machine with Watcher and Planes   c1995   c30 x 60 x 30 cm

click on heading, image or here to view our Peter Markey web catalogue with animations

In addition to the main exhibition of works by Peter Markey, a galaxy of talented friends and acquaintances have contributed a smaller number each in his honour (though not all for sale), including:
Jan Zalud, Rodney Peppé, Peter Lennertz, Andy Hazell, Sue Evans, Wanda Sowry, John Lumbus, Victor Stuart Graham, Jane Ryan, H. M. Clarke, Ogwyn Davies, Sue Evans, Ron Fuller, John Grayson, Jacqueline Mair, Tony Mann, Danny Markey, Robert Race, Linda Rowley, Laurence & Angela St. Leger, Jeff Soan, Paul Spooner, Vicki Wood and Kristy Wyatt-Smith.

See some examples of these other contributed works here


Xmas Show 12 November 2005 onwards

Up to 24 December (many remaining items) by appointment - just ring 023 8046 2723

Warmly festive as ever, this is The First's 31st Christmas Show, featuring about 20 makers who exhibit widely but sparsely: you'll rarely find such work in "gift shops". This is the time of year when we're all on the lookout for special, individual things for the people that matter to us. At "The First" Gallery, we consciously aim to be different (without being weird!), the kind of place where you'll find things seldom seen elsewhere.

Geared to the Season of Goodwill (and Stressed Budgets) prices range from around £1 to over £100, with most between £20 and £50. There are plenty of automata [= moving toys] - spin-off from our Peter Markey Celebration - but we always feature people new to us, so look out for:

They all currently live in Surrey.

This year, we're making a substantial display of 1/12th scale DOLLS' HOUSE MINIATURES (as "substantial" as such tiny things will allow!) featuring some original creations by Geoff D. Clarke (1925 - 98), built kits and many "spare parts" for those who like making their own.

Over the past month, and still arriving as this is being written, is work by Sue Evans, Peter Lennertz, Peter Markey, Sarah Perry, Robert Race, Jane Ryan, Laurence & Angela St. Leger, Jeff Soan, and others. Have fun choosing in our welcoming, unhurried surroundings.

More detail and Pictures




Home Page and Current Programme


Street map

to enable you to find the First gallery.

Web design © Wessex Antithesis 2005.