Scene And Imagined


Yesterday afternoon we drove to Elizabeth’s at West End to collect her and go together to The First Gallery at Bitterne to visit the exhibition of woodcuts by Jutta Manser and paintings by Kevin Dean, in conjunction with Margery Clarke’s open studio.

A random selection of the work on display in ‘Scene and Imagined’ includes

Royal Pier Gatehouse by Kevin Dean

‘Royal Pier Gatehouse’ by Kevin Dean;

Once In A Blue Moon by Jutta Manser

‘Once in a Blue Moon’ by Jutta Manser;

When Shall We Three by Jutta Manser

Jutta’s ‘When Shall We Three’,

April July by Jutta Manser

‘April July’ – one of several woodcuts reminiscent of Agnes Miller Parker

And The Evening And The Morning Were The First Day by Jutta Manser

and ‘And The Evening and The Morning were The First Day’;

Oriental Poppies by Kevin Dean

Pen drawing by Margery Clarke

Kevin’s ‘Oriental Poppies’;

‘Bruno Playing’, a pen drawing by Margery;

Moonstruck by Jutta Manser


Sisyphus by Jutta Manser

‘Sisyphus’, humorously hung at an angle,

Evening Glow by Jutta Manser

‘Evening Glow’,

Summer Blues by Jutta Manser

and ‘Summer Blues’ all by Jutta;

Russian Circus by Kevin Dean

‘Russian Circus’ from Kevin;

Cutting Edge 20,000 BC by Jutta Manser

and Jutta’s ‘Cutting Edge 20,000 BC.

Tools of the Trade by Jutta Manser

We were treated to a fascinating display of Jutta’s Tools of The Trade, including beautiful avian drawings in a sketchbook, woodblocks, pins, pencils, and cutting implements;

whilst upstairs we were invited into Margery’s studio.

Jackie with Sunflowers by Jutta Manser

Jackie bagged Jutta’s ‘Sunflowers’ for her birthday in June. I bought it knowing full well I will have, albeit intentionally, forgotten it by then.

Memory was to become a minor theme of the day. A group of us at the end of the event sat with Margery, having a wide-ranging discussion, which, prompted by recent discoveries concerning mice, possibly helpful to understanding dementia, led to the subject of memory. The capacities of each us were very varied. I made the rash statement that everyone remembers their first day at school. Jackie and I were the only two who did. I found that surprising.

We took Elizabeth back to her car. She collected Mum, and the four of us met and dined in The Farmer’s Home pub in Durley. As always, this led to much reminiscing. Our mother asked if we remembered the flats in Wyke Road. We did, and Jackie even remembered the name of the block that occupied most of the side of the road opposite the railway tracks leading to Raynes Park Station. It was, and still is, Langham Court, which is fronted by a low brick wall topped by stone coping. Tailor-made for little boys to walk along. Well, what else could it be for?

I said I had a story about Langham Court. Elizabeth and Jackie had not heard it, and Mum could not remember it. I did. It is not every day your mother takes on a big hairy caretaker.

Chris and I were about 6 and 8. Wyke Road is situated at the end of Stanton Road, where we lived. In those days it was perfectly acceptable for children to play in side streets devoid of motor cars. Naturally we trotted along the coping stones. The aforesaid big hairy man tore across the lawn in a rage, turfed us off the wall, and terrified the life out of us. We ran home and told our Mum.

Now, the caretaker was frightening enough. But can you imagine a tigress defending her cubs? That gets near. Trying desperately to keep up with Mum we were dragged back up to the flats. I don’t remember the exact words of the ensuing conversation, but I do remember the sound of the slap. I don’t think the gentleman ever accosted us again.

Of course, as was described in the conversation at the Gallery, different people have different memories of the same event, so it is possible that I invented or embroidered this. Nevertheless I only had two glasses of the Rio Alto Merlot 2016 I shared with Elizabeth at our meal. Mum drank orange juice and Jackie chose diet coke. Mum ate poached salmon with new potatoes and carrots, while the rest of enjoyed Sunday roasts with all the trimmings; Jackie’s was pork, while Elizabeth and I chose lamb. Mum’s dessert was Eton Mess and the rest of us had lemon meringue pie.

This morning, Jackie and I continued with the garden tidying. I dug and chopped out a stubborn young self-seeded bay tree.

This evening we dined on roast chicken thighs served on a bed of onions, peppers and garlic with a sprinkling of sage; creamy mashed potato, spring greens and runner.beans. I drank Château Caillavet Bordeaux 2010, and Jackie didn’t because she had consumed her quota of Hoegaarden on the patio before dinner.


  1. Great art to pass the day with and glad Jackie is enjoying her’s.
    As far as school went, I grew up on a small block with 15 kids all within 4 years of the same age – I was the youngest. By the time I got to go, I was so eager to find out what went on in there that I ran away from my mother – who really thought I should have wanted to stay with her!

  2. Lovely art. Jackie is a luck lady to receive one. The story about your mother and the hairy caretaker made me giggle. I’m not surprised he left you both alone after that!

  3. You had a great day! The woodworks and the paintings are all exquisite pieces with perfect captions. The story about your mother made me smile; mothers can do anything, can confront anyone for their children…

    Jackie’s choice is great… 🙂

  4. Oh my! I laughed out loud reading about your mother, Derrick. Did she really slap him? LOL!
    Thanks for sharing the lovely pieces with us. I loved “Moonstruck.”

  5. Beautiful art. Jackie looks pleased and elegant holding it. I too have a fierce mother who might have gone after a big hairy guy to defend us. And I not only remember my first day of school, but what I wore.

  6. Great story about your mum! The artwork is gorgeous. My favourites – ‘Moonstruck’ and ‘Once in a Blue Moon’. 🙂 … it may be that I have a thing for the Moon! 😀

  7. Scene and imagined! I will remember this for long. Jutta Manser’s art has me intrigued, especially, ‘Once in a Blue Moon’. The ‘Sunflowers’ for Jackie is a bright idea! The story about ambling on the low brick wall dragged me to the childhood days of mine. It was but natural to play in the side streets in my childhood too with barely a vehicle or two passing by in all of the day. There was a railway track on the other side of the brick wall where I stayed as a toddler. Trains used to have steam engines that would thunder past tooting. I am not at all surprised what your mother did to the Hairy Ape.

    1. Very many thanks, Uma. Such similarities in childhood. Our upstairs maisonette backed onto the same railway.I mention. Jutta is very modest and had to be persuaded to have her work exhibited in such numbers. We now have two examples.

  8. This looks like a great showing of art–what an interesting range from one artist, and I love seeing the tools and workbox. We’re seeing a show in Boston this week called Matisse in the Studio, and I hope we’ll see his tools and work space as well.

  9. So many topics in this wonderful post, Derrick. I really enjoyed seeing the art. The etchings and paintings are wonderful.
    I don’t remember my first day of school–but I remember the school where I went to nursery, kindergarten, and first grade. No corporal punishment, unlike yours. In fact, there was a pony there, and sometimes we got to have pony rides at recess. I had to go back and read your post about your first day. It sounds terrifying–so now I know movies I’ve seen are not exaggerated!
    I laughed at “One dick too many.” 🙂

  10. I made the rash statement that everyone remembers their first day at school. Hmmm …

    I tried to remember my 1st day in primary school… I couldn’t. I could make out the trepidation and elation I felt, my first day at secondary school and university, but beyond that, nothing definite. Now, a host of memories scramble to be “first day” I doubt they truly are. Interesting…

  11. I can’t remember my first day at school; but I do remember the first walloping I got from the teacher, which would have been pretty soon thereafter, and my mother, with me in tow, going over to the school and giving the teacher a bit of howd’jerdo, shake hands, state your name and business quite clearly! XD

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