Tuesday, 29 October 2019

A glimpse at 1967

The photographer Paul Brown (http://www.paul-brown.com), who I knew during the 1960s, recently got in touch as he has been scanning in some old negatives, and came across a few from visiting Dave Pearson, probably in 1967. 

These were taken in Dave's house at 14 Burgess Street, Haslingden, now demolished and turned into the car park at the rear of the library. 

They take me back to a time when I was student of Dave's. Shortly after these were taken I moved to Haslingden myself. Dave generously put me up for a period of several months before I finally found myself a home of my own in Snig Hole, Helmshore. 

Dave is working on a larger-than-lifesize replica of Van Gogh's Bedroom, which I slept in some of the time. 

Monday, 7 October 2019

Rossendale;e Art Trail II

We had exactly 100 visitors to 54 Manchester Road over the weekend. People enjoyed both Dave Pearson's work and Ashfia Ashrif at Apna in the ground floor room. We made a few sales too...

Thanks to Dave Smith for his help on Saturday, and to Ella Cole on Sunday. Yasmine Choudry produced lovely food throughout...It was exciting to talk to so many people who were enthused by their visit. Some regular faces of course, but also many people who were here for the first time. 

On visitor wanted to track down the mysterious shopper who used to come along regularly to the art shop he worked at in central Manchester, and buy 'armfuls' of inks. This happened so often that they started having to order larger and larger quantities. He wanted to find a photograph of Dave to see if he was indeed the mystery shopper. And yes, he was! 

Andy Holt visited too; the first time for a couple years. Andy had advised us, a few years back, on our presentation of Dave's work. Some of his suggestions had been quite radical and made us rethink our attitudes to curating Dave's legacy. Anyway it was encouraging that Andy was very enthusiastic about what he found on this visit. He particularly liked the way that the Apna space and the presence of local Asian women, and Islamic inspired art, gave our building a new sense of life and identity. 

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Rossendale Art Trail 2019

We're busy preparing for the local Art Trail/Open Studios for the weekend of October 5th and 6th. 

It's been a quiet couple months, as it usually is over summer, but we're launching the Autumn and Winter season at Dave Pearson's Studio with an exciting new show. It consists of previously unseen paintings that we've had framed especially for the Art Trail. Our good friend (and talented painter himself) Paddy Campbell is framing 25 oil paintings, and next week we'll be hanging them. 

If you can't make the weekend, the show will stay up over the Winter, and it's easy to phone or email us to make an appointment. We'll also put the pieces up on our shop - dspearsonshop.co.uk - and they can all be bought online. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Calendar Customs

Today we've hung a small show at The Whitaker, Rawtenstall. It's a selection of a dozen pieces by Dave Pearson from his series of works made between 1973 and 1985, based on British (mainly English) Calendar Customs

It's all part of the Rossendale Heritage Festival, which includes a wide range of events from Bengali stand-up comedy to Lancashire dialect poetry. It embraces the traditional Carnival held at the Bacup and Stacksteads end of the Valley, as well as the Larks of Dean quire, Waterfoot Wakes, heritage readings and storytelling by Hina Qureshi. 

We've taken over one of the two upstairs galleries at the Whitaker, our local museum. The other room is being converted into a pop-up cinema and there will be showings of Derek Smith's film about Dave Pearson, along with Arcadia, a much acclaimed film shown on BB2 earlier this year which uses old film footage to paint a wild, dark and slyly humorous look at English traditional customs. 

We've been able to show a selection of Dave's large cardboard relief paintings, as well as etchings and small oil paintings. Thanks to Paddy Campbell and Ella Cole for their help in hanging the work - the show opens tomorrow and stays up until Sunday the 14th July.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Art Quarterly

Throughout 2018 I was talking with the Art Fund about donating a small collection of work by Dave Pearson to a museum or art gallery. The series of drawings were being gifted by a collector who wished to remain anonymous. They were from a series of beautiful graphite drawings that Dave called 'In The Seven Woods', and they were inspired by the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. Here's a selection of the work:

Eventually the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), based at Reading University, accepted the gift, and they are now on display there. 

Today I found a package sent to me from the Art Fund that included a copy of the Art Quarterly which contained this short piece on the gift: 

It's good to see Dave's work getting publicity in this way, and interesting that these pieces have ended up in a collection dedicated to the 'life and traditions of the English countryside' which Dave immersed himself in the mid-1970s and 80s when he produced his "Calendar Customs' and 'In The Seven Woods' series.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Dave Pearson's self-portraits

The critic Edward Lucie-Smith wrote in one of his essays about Dave Pearson's work -

"(his)...own series of self-images exceeds both Van Gogh and Rembrandt in terms of number. They show a huge range of stylistic flexibility, with each change of style reflecting a change of mood."

When the Dave Pearson Trust existed it took the decision to limit the number of self-portraits sold, in part because the family were uncertain as to which they were prepared to sell. More recently we've held a small exhibition of self-portraits at the Studio, and not surprisingly there is growing interest among collectors in these pieces.

There are over 120 self-portraits in the catalogue of Dave's work, and it would be interesting to look more closely at these and see what are the main stylistic variations. Then to see how they reflect and portray the mood of the artist, as suggested by Lucie-Smith.  

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Easter 2019 Open Days

We had a very enjoyable opening of the studio on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Just about all our visitors stayed for longer than an hour, and it was good to talk about Dave Pearson's work with other local artists, a handful of ladies from Apna (who share our building), and various friends - some of whom had travelled to Haslingden from Shropshire. 

We made a few sales on Saturday and also met with Sara Riccardi, an Italian art historian who has recently moved to Rawtenstall and has already made an impact by starting a series of talks on women artists. Sara runs Artcross (www.artcross.co.uk):

We also took ownership of a stunning triptych which had been in private hands. It's unusual in being of a size which makes it possible to hang in a domestic setting. Most of Dave's triptychs are too large for other than gallery walls. Please contact us if you want to view: