Back to Eric Meadus. To accompany the exhibition at The First Gallery, Margery and Paul Clarke, who own and run the gallery, have put together a book of Meadus’s drawings. The book, titled Southampton: A City Lost… …and Found, contains drawings made of various locations in Southampton with accompanying text about Meadus and his connection to those areas. There is also a rather good essay by local writer Philip Hoare about how the city has changed over the years particularly following the devastation of WWII.
Meadus experimented with different styles of drawing in the same way he did with painting. He seems to have settled finally on a quite stylised form of line drawing without tone or light and dark. These work very well and there are some good examples in the book, but those I like best are his location sketches. As records of places he visited to take back to the studio, these are a lot looser and freer and show just what a good artist he was. There’s a real vitality in these; the lines are quick and full of energy, the unfinished drawings showing all that he needed for reference at a later date. I can just imagine him standing on a street corner in his lunch hour, a race against time to get down the basics before returning to work to complete the day’s shift. These underpin all the work done later in the studio.
This is a really good book, one which I spent hours pouring over and to which I will come back again and again I think. Available to buy from The First Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery. Well-worth a look.