First Gallery Back Programme

The First Gallery, Bitterne, Southampton

1 Burnham Chase
Southampton SO18 5DG.
Tel. (01703) 462723.

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

1996 Programme

Open Portfolio Day

On Sunday 30 June 1996, 10.30-4.00pm four invited artists showed their current portfolios - Michael Cooper (Sussex), oil paintings; Simon Knight (Hampshire), b&w photographs; Stephen Powell (Hampshire), original prints; Alan Wilson (Cornwall), watercolour and acrylic paintings. Paul Clarke was on hand for specialist framing advice. Stephen Powell's large scale oil Extroversion I is shown (right), although rather different from the prints seen on 30 June.

Sarah Perry Day

Sunday 21 July 1996, 11am - 5pm, a selection of Sarah Perry pots was for sale. Sarah Perry has been showing regularly at 'The First' since the early 80's. It is now old history that the wife of an American president was presented with a Sarah Perry pot, and we were fortunate to have this now international figure in our midst. She was in the gallery all day.

Gil Mutch - Paintings

On show 5-20 October 1996. Usual opening arrangements, special final opening Sunday 20 October 11.30-1.30.

Christmas 1996 Show

16-24 November 2-7pm daily - presents for those special friends and relations. Extra 'festive' opening on last Sunday 11.30-1.30. Here are some of Peter Markey's popular card cut-outs from the remaining stock (Peter has discontinued these productions).
The first event of 1997 was a ONE DAY SPECIAL exhibition and sale by hand Knitwear Designer and maker LYNNE HUDSON on Sunday 9 February 1997 10.30-4.30. Lynne was present all day to discuss designs and commissions. All garments were individual but she would make you one in a similar style in your own size; she also has a design portfolio for you to browse. Informal modelling took place through the day, and YOU could be the model if you wished (there was a private viewing/changing room).

Back to First Gallery Home Page

The First Gallery 1997 Events

Southampton and About

The First Gallery had another Eric Meadus(1931-70) exhibition of topographical paintings and drawings, 19-27 July 1997 with a MEADUS WALKABOUT Guided walk in Swaythling SUNDAY 20 JULY 1997and an Informal talk by Margery Clark, MEADUS AND THE FIRST GALLERY, SUNDAY 27 JULY 1997.

Eric Meadus' much loved late drawings of his native Swaythling were intended for exhibition: nearly all of them are now in public or private collections. Some are included in this show, but they are only one part of his work. His early death robbed the world of an original and distinctive artist.

As part of the countrywide Gallery Week '97 (coordinated by engage, a national body seeking to further everyone's understanding and enjoyment of art) the First Gallery mounted this special exhibition of topographical oilwatercolours and drawings, mostly done in the 1960s, some not seen before. By coincidence, the work of Eric Meadus matches the aims of engage. The images are identifiable, everyday places (some long gone) yet they are recognisably Meadus's own. They were made to share his delight. The art is in the feeling which comes out of them: always lively, often faintly humorous; above all, it shows in his masterly command of line.

Meadus was, in fact, much more than a straightforward topographical draughtsman. In particular, his late paintings show the heights he had reached and some unfinished works hint at the promise of what was to come. These add another dimension to the superb draughtsmanship and fresh outlook of earlier pictures and, ultimately, they will see his reputation rightfully established. This is not to dismiss the topographical works, which are now historically interesting as well as beautiful. Sketches, now in folders to be browsed through, were made for himself purely for the love of it and not intended for exhibition. Many have been identified but you might be able to help pinpoint some locations which have puzzled others.

More about Eric Meadus

Robert Race

October 1997

"I try to make things which move in simple but interesting ways, hoping that they will appeal both to children and adults. Moving toys are still made in many parts of the world from wood, bamboo paper, string, wire, feathers and so on. These toys, which are sold on the streets or appear for fairs and festivals) often achieve the vigorous imagery and ingenious use of simple mechanisms that I aspire to in my work. At their best they cleverly exploit the properties of natural recycled materials, readily available. I try to do the same and at present I particularly like using driftwood because collecting it qives me a good excuse for going to the seaside", says Robert.

1998 Exhibitions Programme


Paintings & Such


Saturday 21 March - Sunday 5 April
2-7pm daily until Sunday 29 March, also weekend 4-5 April.

30 March - 3 April; ring to arrange. Private View: Friday 20 March, 6-9pm
Open Morning: Sunday 5 April 11.30-1.30

Margery Clarke's pictures inevitably involve people: even empty land- and sea-scapes imply the onlooker and much of her work contains figures. Her favourite medium is oil paint, which can be built up slowly layer on layer, but there are drawings, pastels and prints among the exhibits. Recently she has experimented with deliberately subconscious application of paint, taking her imagery into uncharted territory.

As much at ease with a needle as with a paintbrush, she has had light-hearted forays into other materials. Do not be surprised to get no reply when you speak to that old lady sitting with her gold shoes dangling above the floor: look closer and you will find she is a puppet to dance with.

PEOPLE MATTER, so in her work the bleakness of the human condition is tempered by Margery's compassionate humour. As Picasso said:

"We do not have to be solemn to be serious".

Early Summer Event Saturday-Sunday 6-7 June 1998 11am-7pm


Two Potters, two Painters
One-time staff at Southampton College of Art

Alvin Betteridge, John Cattell,
John Butterworth, Stephen Powell

Until a few years ago the four participants enjoyed working together at Southampton Institute: Alvin Betteridge was Head of Ceramics and John Cattell its technician; John Butterworth used to head the Fine Arts department, where Steve Powell was a printmaking tutor. Now the group has dispersed, only John Cattell remaining permanently (although Steve is frequently co-opted). This event has come about through the suggestion of John Cattell, who was taught to pot by Alvin Betteridge. In addition to the exhibition of their work for sale, they will be in the Gallery on both days ready to talk to you. Weather & inclination permitting, Alvin will demonstrate. This is a serious exhibition with much of the work being specially produced but they will be so pleased to see each other that the atmosphere is sure to be full of warmth, doubtless with lots of banter.

Do come and join in.

End September/beginning October 1998:


The Peter Markey touring exhibition will be at the First Gallery from
Saturday 26 September to Saturday 3 October, 2-7pm daily.

The Private View will be on Friday 25 September, 6-9pm with the usual Open Morning on Sunday 4 October, 11.30am-2.30pm during which purchasers will be able to collect their works.

"The Animated Eye: Paintings & Moving Machines by Peter Markey"

began in 1990 and went to six venues. So many pictures sold we had to take it off the road. Initially there were only a few large automata but such was the demand for more models that Peter set to work and provided twenty more smaller ones and an equal number of extra paintings. It then set off again all over Britain and there are bookings until the end of 1998, including one to the Shetland Isles.
As it is a selling exhibition the contents change so it does not get stale.


Saturday 7 - Saturday 14 November, 2-7pm daily

Private View: Friday 6 November 6-9pm
Festive Opening: Sunday 15 November 11am-4pm

Every year we get cold feet about the Xmas Show in case we are not able to keep up the exciting standard; in the event, so far, each one has been slightly better than the last. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Back to First Gallery Home Page and Current programme
Submitted by Trevor Gilson 26 September 1999.