On the Shoulders of Giants, Project

Starting at the Southampton City Art Gallery

The City Gallery in Southampton is home to a strong collection of artwork, it is on our doorstep and we are keen to use it as a resource.

Southampton City Art Gallery holds one of the finest collections of art in the south of England and holds ‘Designated’ status, awarded by Arts Council England. Currently comprising over 5,000 works and spanning eight centuries, the collection is an outstanding educational resource that can trace the history of European art from the Renaissance to the present. The core, however, is British twentieth century and contemporary art.

Malcolm Drummond, IN THE PARK (ST JAMES’S PARK) was one of the works we used for lockdown, ZOOM, On the Shoulders of Giants. What fun to return to it in the flesh.


  • Tutor, Kate Measham
  • Jan 18th at Southampton City Gallery, Jan 25th, and Feb 1st in the Studio at Bransbury
  • 10.00 – 16.00
  • £240/3 day course
  • Entrance to the Gallery is free. You are expected to find your own way there and back.


About The Southampton City Art Gallery

“My fervent desire is, and my Executors’ aim shall be the furtherance and encouragement of Art in the town of my adoption – Southampton. I therefore bequeath the whole of my collection of oil paintings, watercolour drawings and engravings to my Executors for the public exhibition in Southampton… I authorise my Executors to build an art gallery which shall be free to the public…”

Robert Chipperfield, Last Will and Testament, 1911

Southampton’s fine art collection currently holds over 5,300 works and to this day continues to grow through gifts and bequests. The City’s holdings of modern British art are considered to be amongst the finest in the UK outside of London, in no small part due to exceptional individual acts of generosity and a rigorous acquisitions policy.

The collection is able to tell the story of western art from the Renaissance to the present day with important holdings of 18th and 19th century British painting, examples of 17th-Century Dutch, French and Italian Baroque, French impressionist works and a small selection of Renaissance paintings. Most significant is the Gallery’s collection of 20th-Century British art, starting with post impressionism and including Surrealism and the St Ives-based abstract artists. The collection of contemporary art since the 1970s is outstanding and includes many Turner prize artists. In 1998 the government ‘designated’ the permanent collection as having pre-eminent national significance.

In 1939 the collection moved to its permanent home in the Civic Centre building, designed by the Architect E. Berry Webber. There have been several significant bequests: by Arthur Jeffress (1961), Dr David and Liza Brown (2002) and most recently the Schlee bequest of over 100 prints, drawings and paintings (2013).


What to expect on this course

Artists have copied the works of Masters forever. It is a wonderful way to to learn about composition, colour, and the thoughts of the original creator. It is a stepping stone that can take you in a new direction.

On this course we will spend a day at the gallery, looking at the artworks and choosing one, or possibly two, to work from throughout the course. You will draw and take notes in the gallery, and, possibly download copies of the works to use for the second and third weeks in the studio. We will discuss how to take your notes forward into something new that is clearly your own work.

By the end of the three classes I would expect you to have a finished work of some sort.


Materials

This is a tricky list to construct. I imagine each student will have their own list.

Initially please bring a sketchbook and dry materials to the Gallery. I will discuss what else to use with each student once they have started to decide what direction they are going to explore.