TOP QUALITY ART AND CRAFT, SENSITIVELY DISPLAYED IN A DOMESTIC SETTING

Sat7th – Sun22nd November

SPECIAL FEATURE IWillow-Weaving by
LINDA MILLS of Linda’s Willow

These examples are NOT the ones on display

SPECIAL FEATURE IIFoam-Core Lampshades by
Cornwall-based
BEN RIDDELL


HOURS — Weekends10:30am – 6pm, or, by pre-arrangement, outside those hours
Weekdays:  at any mutually agreed time, including outside the above hours.

For less than 24 hrs.’ notice, best to ring 023 8046 2723.
Longer than that, or overnight, usually fine to e-mail


(capitals not critical, just to aid your reading it)
Go to our contact-page, if there’s a problem with this non-clickable address

and note Downloadable pdf file for this show


It’s an unwelcome tradition that our webpages aren’t updated as promptly as we’d like, and no exception this year.
Our apologies:  just so busy getting the show ready I haven’t had time to take all the photos yet!

We’re sure that “The First” Gallery is the first* example of its kind:  showing mixed
art and craft integrally within a lived-in ordinary house.  After 40+ years, with many
other homes taking up the idea, it’s difficult to describe what sets it apart from those
following in its wake.  The invisible considering that goes into the “hang” is a hallmark;
the range of unusual things;  the lack (or bare minimum) of ‘uber-cool’ lighting, plinths,
Do Not…  notices, rotating card-stands, etc.;  in fact, anything that smacks of a shop, or
doesn’t feel like a home:  your home.  It’s the sort of place where you’d find a gift exactly
right for someone, rather than something “trying to be different”, but not quite ‘them’.
While true, even simply spelling this out feels too uncomfortably like sales-spiel for us!
We’d far rather the exhibits did any of the talking to you.

* not why the place is called that:  the house was so named in 1954 or -55, way before any notions of showing art in it


LIST OF EXHIBITORS

Read brief bio’s, some with images, below table.  Links in table jump to these.
I hope to add photos, titles, prices and some explanations later.
Early in the show, I will try and indicate numbers of exhibits from each maker.

( ) = yet to confirm;   § = no new items since their last showing here;   bold font = ‘New Face’ at The First;   italic CAPS = company or trade name

Ken BRIFFETT

inventive wood-turning

Christopher BROWNE

prints

Hazel BURROWS

painted silk scarves

Sorbon CHANDAMAN §

charred wood sculpture

HMCLARKE §

oil paintings;  prints

Kevin DEAN

prints;  watercolour-paintings

Mike DODD §

wood-fired stoneware

Crispin EURICH (1935 – 76) §

monochrome photographs

Susan REVANS §

plain and painted wood sculpture ;  sculpted wood animal-form boxes

Lotte GLOB §

ceramic vessels and sculpture

Neil HARDY   FABULOUS ANIMALS §

humorous captioned automata

Anne HAYWARD

wood-engravings

Richard HEAD

oil-paintings;  ink-drawings

Lynne HUDSON

knitted / knotted jewellery and accessories;  Xmas decorations

John JONES

watercolour paintings

Derrick JKNIGHT

digital photographs

Peter LENNERTZ

automata §;  (framed tableaux)

David McDIARMID

acrylic- and oil-paintings

Jutta MANSER

wood-engravings;  small notebooks

Suzie MARSH

'cold-cast' bronze resin animal sculptures

Linda MILLS   LINDA’S WILLOW

willow-weaving

Sarah PERRY

lustred porcelain jewellery

Sergio PINESE §

wordplay mobile sculptures

(Robert RACE)

driftwood automata

Ben RIDDELL

foam-core lampshades;  cards

Angela & Laurence St LEGER

miniature automata

Lucille SCOTT   IRON MAID

blacksmithing

Lisa SLATER §

wood automata

Wanda SOWRY §

‘all-wood’ automata

Emily FIRMIN & Justin MITCHELL   TOTAL PAP

papier-mâché animals / plaques

Joanne WILLIAMS

foiled 3D greetings cards

Carlos ZAPATA §

painted wood automata

  Ken Briffett is a master wood-turner, by some distance the most inventive and ‘design-considered’ woodworker we’ve shown.  Most of his working life was at the University of Portsmouth, initially as technician, rising to Senior Lecturer, from which he is long retired.  A technician background often spawns great craftspeople, but it’s less usual to see the practical ability allied to such a developed artistic sense.  A highly active member of Forest of Bere Woodturners, he regularly participates in (and often devises) their themed projects, for which he enjoys stretching his mind and skills.  Among his offerings this time:  wet-turned dishes and bowls, allowed to distort by controlled drying;  they are then tinted on their exposed edge.  Back to List   Back to Linda Mills

  Christopher Browne comes from a family steeped in theatre, and one of the few people who graduated from Cambridge without having enjoyed his time there.  Latterly, he has run various attempts to support artists, in Southampton (The Brompton Gallery [the ex-Hamwic Gallery premises], Northam Road;  later in Salisbury, where he now lives (most recently the just-closed Print Obsession in Harnham) and continues to run art-oriented classes.  He is a master of many printmaking disciplines:  his selection for this show comprises lino- and screen-print, and aquatint etching.  Back to List

  Hazel Burrows is one of the UK’s most high-profile silk-painters.  Though busy with two other shows almost at the same time, she has reserved for us a quantity of her dramatic (and great value!) silk scarves, which greet you on the main wall as you enter the gallery.  Back to List

  Sorbon Chandaman turned up at The First possibly 20 years ago, a recent art graduate from Southampton Institute of Higher Education (now So’ton Solent University).  After he moved to the Isle of Wight, we lost touch*:  he may have abandoned visual arts altogether**.  His charred and gilded sculptures have intense presence, belying their modest scale:  proof that you don’t need much to convey a lot.  Back to List
* we’re not even sure we spell his surname right!   ** a Net search, for this bio., did unearth references to a ‘psych-pop’ group called The Bees, “native to” / “based on” the IoW.  One site with a photo mentioned having recently [2010] refreshed their line-up, prior to returning to live performance supporting Paul Weller:  I didn’t recognize SC’s face among them.  An Italian site listed a number of their albums, at least one had a Sorbon Chandaman credited as pianist.  It would appear the band is now defunct.

  H. M. Clarke, known to most of you as Margery, is an artist in her own right (H. M. Clarke is her painting name) even though you may associate her more with this gallery, which she founded and still runs.  It is not, and was never meant to be, a vehicle for her own work.  Often, she exhibits in these shows by default, selecting a few pieces to fill gaps in the wall display whe there’s not enough artwork from other contributors!
  In response to demand, though she has mounted one-man shows periodically since her first here, 21 years ago.  She works mainly in oils, with texture and paint-quality a sought-for hallmark.  Mosty unconventionally, her best images spring from her imagination, or are recalled intensely from glimpses of people or views.  She feels she’s moving into a “more abstract” phase, not abandoning imagery by any means, but leaning towards pattern.  Back to List

  A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Kevin Dean is a very busy artist, designer and illustrator, producing wallpaper-designs, murals, tiles (much for buildings in the UAE) and book illustrations alongside his own artwork.  One enormous commission saw him designing floral tiles for the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, a temple that receives some 3m visitors a year.  A recent foray has been into painted enamel panels, stove-fired, in the manner of inn-signs, but using paint-techniques more akin to watercolour than classic enamelling.  He’s showing monoprints and watercolours this time, though he mooted bringing more work during the show.  Back to List

  After a medical training, Mike Dodd set up his first pottery in Edburton, Sussex, but has travelled widely since (including a stint in Peru).  Now one of the nation’s top potters, he has always lived close to the land, part of his humanistic, holistic philosophy that informs his oeuvre (local, naturally-sourced glazes, wood-firing, etc.)  He’s currently resident in Somerset.  Back to List

  One of the three artistic children of painter Richard Eurich, Crispin Eurich took up photography professionally after winning the International Photokina Prize in about 1957, since an accident to his hand had prevented him following in his father’s footsteps.  Author of iconic photo-portraits like the ‘definitive’ “sad” Lowry, side-on with the artist’s trademark Stockport Viaduct behind him;  or ground-breaking industrial night shots, like the “Seven Sisters“, the row of butane spheres at Fawley Refinery, Crispin’s premature death (aged about 41) has caused his imagery’s originality to lose its shine, in the light of other photographers whose work achieved higher profile.  He was skilled in many fields (portraiture, architecture, artwork, technology), in a discipline where most practitioners would specialize.  The First Gallery is custodian of his archive.  Back to List

  Susan REvans, previously working as Sue Evans, is a former history teacher, whose passion for wood had to find an outlet when she retired.  Originally making toy-type pieces as presents for friends, most of her output combines a flair for traditional decoration (e.g. all her swimming men are in Edwardian bathing-costume, and look like cross-Channel swimmer Captain Matthew Webb!) with a skilful simplicity.  She brings a distinctive nature-lover’s sensitivity to the depiction of birds’ plumage, etc.  While we’ve previously given space to her automata, she has a large range of handleable static sculptural pieces.  Her newest line comprises sea-living denizens of the animal world in the form of boxes, which open to reveal miniature contents:  e.g. fish inside a seal;  eggs inside fish, etc.  Back to List

  Lotte Glob is Danish by extraction, but from early adulthood ‘escaped’* to Ireland, before settling on the very northernmost coast of Scotland.  Before she left, she was trained under two major Danish potters but, perhaps counter-intuitively for one from somewhere so renownedly flat, she’s most at home in the mountains, whose colours, changing scapes and actual geology have a profound influence on her work.  She must have discovered this when she took up residence at Balnakiel, the disused RAF Early Warning station beyond Durness, the most northerly village in Britain, whose properties were sold off at knock-down prices in the 1970s to be bought up by craftspeople seeking to escape the rat-race (you really could, back then:  it was so remote that the roads were hardly made up, the Far North had not yet been marketed as a tourist destination, yet she still survived on a mixed, if spartan, economy, selling to those hardy souls who made the trip to this bleak, windswept part of the UK).
  As its critical mass grew, the site began to promote itself as a Craft Village, at which point (1985) we found her, and brought her work into England for the first time. During subsequent visits, we could observe the signs of the marketers encroaching, with more of the units (which were rising in value) being sold to people without the ethos of the original occupants, until gradually the place was majority-occupied by low-quality makers or non-creatives.  The rat-race Lotte had tried to evade had caught up with her:  she’d bought a second unit, and realized she was working just to pay the mortgage.
  So, once more she ‘escaped’, selling up, passing on Far North Pottery to her assistant, and buying a croft further down the loch, where she had her own highly contemporary eco-house built, further from civilization (her affinity with the mountains extends to being comfortable living in the peaks for a night or two, so she’s completely self-sufficient).  Her plans for having her life to herself were somewhat scuppered after her house won architectural and ‘green’ living awards, meaning calls and visits from journos, architecture buffs and students, and other assorted stardust-seekers!   We imagine she doesn’t climb mountains so much these days (she’s way past 70 now), but she's still making unusual ceramic sculpture, experimenting with incorporating actual rocks from the landscape around her (the area is a living laboratory of how the planet’s surface was originally formed, so this is simply microcosm-ing Creation into human-scale creations).  We have not been to visit for 15 years, but we have significant stock from previous trips, though our stock of her Far North output (she would sign her domestic ware “Far North” and what she considerd her “creative”, experimental work “Lotte”, or “Lott”) is much depleted and, of course, now unobtainable from new.  Back to List
* what she saw as a stultifying atmosphere of living in her prominent father’s shadow.  He was Professor of Archaeology, ran the Copenhagen Museum, and was renowned for having discovered the first so-called “Bog Man”.  A review of Lotte’s first ceramics exhibition mentioned that she was the daughter of this pillar of society, and she took slight umbrage, wishing to be her own woman.  So, by her own admission, she really was running away, hence the remote west of Ireland, where she initially landed up.

  Neil Hardy has been showing and selling in most of The First’s Xmas Shows for the last ten years.  Along with Peter Lennertz, he shared a two-hander here in 2011, under the title Turn a Surprise.  His architectural training is evident in the clean lines of his designs, and in his method of batch-making (echoed in very few automatists’ output).  Redundancy in 1992, together with a visit to Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, Covent Garden, the UK’s foremost centre devoted to automata, prompting him to reassess, turning to his surreal sense of humour as an outlet.
  Most of our visitors remember his work for the often laugh-out-loud gags, a combination of drily witty captions and surreal actions.  Another hallmark, shared with Peter Lennertz, is the long run-time of some of his cycles of movement, no mean technical feat in a small space.  Think of it as the automata equivalent of a stage comic’s ‘pause for effect’.  The labels have echoes of the spoof cartoonist Glen Baxter [remember him?  His protracted captions find a particular echo in these pieces], and Hardy admits a debt to the strange world of Gary Larson’s The Far Side, taking Paul Spooner’s line in witty titles to very different places.
  Virtually all Neil Hardy’s automata are based on creatures (he trades as Fabulous Animals, and within this there is a mini-series called Evolutionary Blunders [yes:  let your imagination run riot…  though, better still, come and see for yourself!])  He has spent the early part of 2015 completing a huge piece for Northwich’s Lion Saltworks.  One of the designs of the ten or so on show now is new this year.  Back to List

  Anne Hayward is a long-time member of the Society of Wood-Engravers, senior enough to be on their committee.  Her work is decorative and finely designed, with a strong leaning towards natural forms, although she has been experimenting recently, first through painting, with subtle abstractions based on grid-patterns.  Back to List  Back to Ben Riddell

  Resident in Surrey, Richard Head has been showing at The First Gallery since the 1990s.  Trained at Eton, then Bristol Polytechnic, his oils, gouaches and ink-drawings exude a quietly disturbing restlessness, relieved by a distinctive, de-saturated and contemporary palette.  His regular travels abroad, especially to Italy, and his day job (formerly a gardener at RHS Wisley, now a volunteer at Hatchlands) inform much of his subject-matter, but he’s rarely at a loss for what to paint, having a Lowry-/Sickert-like ability to create something significant from the most unpromising scene.  Back to List

  One of The First’s more versatile and consistently witty makers, Lynne Hudson trained in textiles at Southampton Institute (now Solent Uni.)  Her output is broad, ranging from knitwear, both in novelty form and wearable (early on, she made interpretations of iconic works of art on jumpers), crochet (using less usual materials, like wire), mizuhiki (folded flat metallized paper, superficially resembling flattened origami), through to her latest foray, knot-tying (she’s on the committee of the Guild’s local branch).  She also makes cards, using textiles and many other colour-application techniques.  Back to List

  John Jones is a surveyor, coming up to retirement.  Quiet in person, his works in pencil, watercolour (his contribution this time) and acrylic reflect this, but (also like him) there’s a lot in them if you give them some time to ‘speak’ to you.  He’s had work in Lymington’s St Barbe Museum OpenBack to List

  A most interesting individual, Derrick JKnight has now retired from running a London borough’s Social Services department, and is not the only family member with creativity in the blood (his sister, Elizabeth, is also a serious amateur photographer and bookbinder who has shown at The First Gallery, and her son and his wife both work in the film special effects arena).  With another hat on, Derrick used to be Mordred, the cryptic crossword setter, repeats of whose puzzles still turn up in The Independent.  In the same line, he co-wrote a guide to solving such clues, which has only recently, on a change of publisher’s ownership, been withdrawn from print after 19 years.  He has always photographed (examples from all periods can be found on his daily Ramblings blog) and he continues to indulge his enthusiasm during daily walks.
He and his partner have recently bought and are restoring the old Post Office in Downton, near Highcliffe, which has a huge garden and an erstwhile existence as a commercial plant nursery.  As such, it was frankly a right mess, examples of which Jacky and Derrick are still, 18 months later, unearthing!  Its transformation, also recorded on his blog, will be the focus of the Spring garden-themed exhibition at The First Back to List

  Peter Lennertz was a plumber who, while working in Covent Garden (home to Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, the UK’s primary centre for automata), was inspired to start making such things himself.  His most recent sortie has been into static framed tableaux (though he’d shrink from the use of such a highbrow word) of the sort of figures that populate his automata.  Back to List  Back to Neil Hardy

  Another product of Southampton Institute of Higher Education (now So’ton Solent University), David McDiarmid is still in his original trade of navvying, though now in a supervisory capacity.  On the spur of the moment, he applied for a sculpture course at SIHE and continues to create in his spare time.  No stereotypical working-class-lad-discovering-the-benefits-of-education (though his infectious enthusiasm is common to many of that stripe), you never know what he's going to create next.  A visit to his house reveals a riot of influences:  native masks, Indonesian puppets, pop art, all on deep-coloured wall-décor.  His own work sits very comfortably among these ethnic pieces, and you might be hard-pressed to say which are McDiarmid’s.  Not hidebound by the conventions of the art-world, he’s happy to fail en route to coming up with the next imaginative idea.  On show this time are his latest colourful paintings, completely non-representational, and mixing media in an exploratory way.  Back to List

  Jutta Manser came to wood-engraving via botanical illustration, taking a post-grad HND at Salisbury when she retired from a career lecturing in Economics.  Her output is thoughtful and thought-provoking, and not always the comfortable rosy view one can’t help associating with the field (prompted by the prominence of the “golden era” artist-illustrators from between the Wars).  Her current focus is mainly on engraving, but she undertakes woodcuts and other techniques as inspiration and time dictate.  She runs occasional weekend courses at Red Hot PressBack to List

  Suzie Marsh was in the year below me at Exeter College of Art & Design, having transferred from an unsatisfying textile course at Brighton.  In 1982, I bought one of her amazingly mature animal sculptures from her Degree Show, and the rest of ‘the management’ immediately spotted the inner fire in it, and in the rest of her work.
  Ever since, we’ve collectively watched her trajectory, finding her feet while rejecting the comfortable option of family financial support*, and becoming one of the UK’s foremost animal artists.  She has a particular empathy with horses and the cat family, but her oeuvre is wide-ranging, from African and Asian wildlife (not always life-size, though she can do them!) to tiny mice.  Back to List
* based in the West Country, she first told us her father "worked in Plymouth Dockyard".  It turned out he was a Rear-Admiral!

  In her first extended outing at the Gallery, Linda Mills comes to us as a working associate of Ken Briffett, with whom she occasionally collaborates on specific exhibits.  She works in a variety of willows (much of which she grows herself) exploiting the variety to add shades of colour to traditional baskets, but also stretching the possibilities of the medium (in a way Briffett would approve of!)  On show now are her Xmas Trees, threaded with mini-lights;  star decorations;  a hedgehog;  and a most unusual container interlaced with oyster shells:  she lives in or near Emsworth, for which, until the turn of the 20th Century, oysters were a major industry.  She trained under several tutors on a series of short courses, at West Dean, Amberley Industrial Museum and privately.  She now sells at various craft fairs and events locally, supplemented by the occasional workshop or demonstration.  Back to List

  Greenwich-based potter Sarah Perry turned 70 last year but shows no signs of slowing down.  Unusually for one in her field, she s not in the ‘highly collectable’ stratum yet lives entirely by making, taking on no teaching commitments at all.  A graduate of Camberwell, where her tutors were Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and Ian Auld, she makes thrown and slab ware in porcelain and (to the amazed admiration of many fellow practitioners) stoneware to almost porcelain body-delicacy.  One of our most frequent exhibitors, we have shown her work for almost half her life, watching her develop from the earlier near-monochrome metallic glazes, through her colourful lustre phase, to her current more matt lustre finishes.  This year, she’s sent her popular porcelain jewellery:  ear-rings, cuff-links, brooches and necklaces.  Back to List

  Sergio Pinese is an Italian-Swiss automata collector who, like many serious enthusiasts, has turned to making at a low-output level.  His style is very varied, but always incorporates verbal-visual wit (even in English, not his first language), an aspect of much automata.  On offer now are several mobile pieces (“automata” by dint of their moving when you pick them up), with paired words on their bases mischievously misinterpreted in the carved ‘subject matter’ above.  Back to List

  Robert Race is one of the UK’s foremost automatists.  He started in 1978 by making wooden toys, miniature furniture and dolls’ houses.  Like Ron Fuller (one of the three founding contributors to Cabaret, when it was still in Cornwall), Race’s first impetus in movable toys came via adapting traditional (e.g. Monkey-Climbing-a-Stick-type) pieces — he collects indigenous toys, especially Indian tin-ware.
  A science-teacher originally, he retired early to make automata, and leapt to prominence as the first to use driftwood and other beachcombings as a medium (a very influential effect on the less imaginative of the new wave).
  Also like Fuller (but less true of Peter Markey or Paul Spooner, the other two Cabaret founders), the surprise element of some pieces is laugh-out-loud, rather than quiet-smile-raising, giving an element of the punch-line to the genre.  His status as a leader in the field was cemented in 2005, when invited to organize the UK contingent of the Karakuri Expo, a very high-profile automata and technology event in Japan (where they know a thing or two about automata!)  Back to List

  We know little about Ben Riddell, except that he’s based in Cornwall, is the grandson of Anne Hayward, and has more than one string to his creative bow.  At a recent house-exhibition*, we were most taken with the understatedness of his lampshades, made in the unusual medium of foam-core board (comprising a layer of aerated polymer – like a finer texture of a Crunchie bar – with paper bonded to either side, which rigidizes it.  The (commonest) white version transmits a certain amount of light, and more through its cut edges).  Riddell also experiments with cutting out card to make leaning cards decorated with geometric holes.  There are some slighly more image-based styles on offer, in the form of pop-up Xmas Trees.  Back to List  Back to Joanne Williams
* unbidden spawn of “The First” Gallery!

  The First Gallery first showed Angela & Laurence St Leger’s remarkable miniature automata ten years ago, during Peter Markey’s 75th Birthday Celebration.  Laurence, a watchmaker by training, used to make dolls’ house miniatures, which they sold at fairs.  About 25 years ago, he made a miniature Samson Strongman, successfully enough to become their trading logo.  Their range now comprises some 250 designs. Angela’s role appears to be painting them;  I say “appears”;  however, in a recent conversation at her home, she remarked that she does design and make some of their lines, but is assumed not to have!  I gather one of her new improvements to their methods is to use a pin or needle on the push-pull mechanisms, instead of fine wire, which was prone to bend in use.  There are two of her own designs (one, Castaway, brand new) among their offerings in the show.
  Without adding to Angela’s point about being overlooked, I can’t help mentioning Laurence’s latest success, winning the Perfection in Miniature prize with a scale Swiss Army knife, with 7 tools, all working.  This has generated orders from, among others, the manfacturers of the genuine Swiss Army knife, more used to promoting their wares with mightily oversize examples.  (As soon as I work out how, I’ll post a link to an animation of it, made by one of their talented creative sons).  Back to List

  Trained in Hereford, South-African-born blacksmith Lucille Scott works from her forge at the old Eastney Beam Engine site*, alongside a glass-worker and a stonemason, with whom she often collaborates on her self-designed joint artworks.  Highly inventive, both in style and presentation, her work is not exactly what one immediately calls to mind when thinking of blacksmithing (though she can do traditional work, exemplified by several pokers and candle-holders in the show).  Back to List
* a worthwhile location for a visit in its own architectural / industrial archaeological right.  The engine is preserved and is often ‘in steam’ at nationwide Heritage Weekends.

  Fairly new to us (thank the Worldwide Web!), automatist Lisa Slater lives and works In Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.  After studying 3D Design at Manchester, she went into teaching in her native county.  She still lectures now, but has been concentrating on making automata for several years.  Her animal- and people-based models are quirky, clearly the work of a practitioner immersed in observational skills, yet paring back details and using natural materials to cleverly render textures, etc.  Back to List

  In her early 40s, Wanda Sowry is almost the youngest prominent member of the automatist fraternity (and, strictly, sorority!), and one of its few women (who occupy about 10% of the ‘workforce’).  Her entire output is in plain wood, brilliantly exploiting different varieties of timber to render colours and tones.  Most automatists are magpies, incorporating anything to hand, with no ‘manifesto’ about purity.  In Sowry’s work, every joint, peg, and motion device is all cut from wood.  This doesn’t interfere with her ability to depict incidents with humour and warmth.  Back to List

  Under the brand Total Pap, Emily Firmin & Justin Mitchell have made automata and static sculptures in papier-mâché since 1990, after leaving their respective fields of graphic design / film and music-teaching.  Emily makes tableaux often of animals, but people feature too.  If her surname seems familiar, it has been in the news recently, with the widely-welcomed remake of The Clangers, devised by her father, Peter (also responsible for Bagpuss, whose Emily character was named after his daughter).  While working on an exhibition for Peter’s barn, Mitchell was trying to give one of his pictures a surprise motive element.  Peter saw this and showed him some card characters he’d devised for live TV.  He encouraged Mitchell to make more, an enthusiasm which has been maintained for the past 25 years.  Back to List

  Joanne Williams is a widely-published illustrator, especially of children’s books.  Every few years she runs an exhibition in her own house, where we found her earlier this year, along with Ben Riddell.  Her range of technique is wide.  We’ve chosen to feature her spectacular 3D cards in the form of colourful birds, on which she appliqués gold foils to the upper wing area.  Back to List

  Colombian by birth, Carlos Zapata is one of the Cornwall-based automatist ‘cluster’ that has sprung up around first Cabaret, in its original guise as a hand-made-toy and craft shop, and later due to Paul Spooner, the world's best-known automatist, choosing to stay put there after Cabaret upped sticks to London.  (There are now more than ten, just in Penwith and its environs, probably the highest concentration in the world).  Zapata is the only automatist to have shown at the Royal Academy, and has a busy schedule, and full CV.  This includes an automated piece in Tudor House (which may not have survived that museum’s recent refurbishment;  staff responsible for exhibitions told us that they thought a new one had been commissioned from him recently, since its re-opening).   His output includes static sculpture as well, all infused with the brooding, hints of Latin-American fire typical of the culture.  Back to List


Notes by Paul Clarke, “The First” Gallery


Back to “The First” Gallery home page



Web design © Wessex Antithesis 1999