English
"The First" Gallery Southampton UK
"The First" Gallery
 



A 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 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 Role
"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.
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