The artist Eric Meadus was born in Rigby Road, Portswood in 1931, but his family soon moved to Lobelia Road on the newly-built Flower estate off Burgess Road. He attended Bassett Green School and won a scholarship to King Edward VI Grammar School. Leaving school, he became an apprentice draughtsman at Vickers Armstrong before doing national service and emigrating to Canada for two years. On his return to Southampton he obtained employment as a draughtsman for Pirelli Cables, for whom he continued to work until the end of his life. It was while in Canada that he began painting seriously, initially as a substitute for music as he had no access to a piano.

Many of his paintings feature houses and other buildings in the Swaythling area of the 1950s and 1960s. Initially, his work was reality-based, but he gradually introduced fantasy elements into his landscapes, often implanting other (usually actual) buildings into his streets and fields. His work was often compared with that of L. S. Lowry, his contemporary and acquaintance.

He died in 1970 at the age of only 39, just as he was beginning to achieve a degree of fame in the art world. His reputation burgeoned, however, due to a number of successful retrospective exhibitions. Eric Meadus Close in Swaythling was named after him.

The Floating Bridge

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By Eric Meadus


Further reading:

‘Eric Meadus and Future Exhibitions’, by Margery Clarke, in Fosmag Magazine, No. 69, p17. (HS/lt)


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