Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The 2016 Art Trail weekend - Oct 1st/2nd

The Dave Pearson Trust is again taking part in the Rossendale Open Studios Art Trail on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd October. The studio at 54 Manchester Rd in Haslingden will be open from 11am until 5pm on both days. Admission is, of course, free. 

The weekend Open Studios will be bigger than ever, with 14 different studios  and workshops opening to the public, showing the work of a total of 33 artists. It's a great event and takes place throughout the Rossendale Valley - from Whitworth to Haslingden. This year there are 5 participating venues in the Haslingden/Helmshore area alone. 

Free, fully illustrated 12-page brochures are available from all participating venues and local libraries. 

At the Dave Pearson Studio you'll see the progress we've made in cataloguing the work, and Ella expects to have catalogued about 12,000 piece of work by the open weekend. There's a new sense of order as a result - plenty of work on the walls, but also boxes and boxes of artwork that are now labelled, photographed and fully listed in the archive. 

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Modern Masters

The holiday period is coming to a close and both Ella and I will be back to regular work at the Dave Pearson Trust. 

No apologies for yet another post focusing (above) on the reprints by Alan Birch of some of Dave's spectacular 'Calendar Custom' prints. 

News update - the York exhibition at the According to McGee gallery is due to open on Saturday 10th September at 12pm. This is an opening of the group of exhibitions themed as 'Modern Masters' and introduces a sample of works by the artists who will be represented later in the series - so don't expect a Dave Pearson exhibition, but it will include a few of his works, including at least one of the new prints. The gallery is in the centre of York, at 8 Tower Street, YO1 9SA - opposite Cliffords Tower. 

I've a meeting at the Turnpike Gallery in a week or so, and the idea of holding a big exhibition at this gallery (which Dave first exhibited in almost 25 years ago) looks as if it's coming closer  to fruition. 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Summer news..

Summer mode and the background heating at the studio can be turned off! Ella and I take our early holidays, and builders are called in to fix the badly slipping guttering at the back of 54 Manchester Road. 

Alongside this our plans are moving along - we're conscious that we now have added treasure in the form of the newly printed etching and drypoint plates that Alan Birch has been working on. Over the next few months I'll arrange to have a selection of these framed so we can present them as well as possible. Ella has already shown a selection of the proofs to the Goldmark Gallery and they are interested enough to follow this up, potentially with a visit to the studio.

Similarly, through contacts with Manchester Museums & Galleries, we've also had interest from the Turnpike in Leigh about mounting an exhibition. It's a big space and Dave showed his Byzantium work there in, I think, 1992. I remember that exhibition well, an enormously powerful show which we have a good photographic record of. The Turnpike has recently re-opened and it would be wonderful to have a second show there, 25 years later.

The photos above are taken from one of the drypoint plates resurrected by Alan Birch - this one is an unusual piece, and showing some of these prints is another thing we're working on. The According to McGee Gallery in York have been back in touch, about showing some work in the near future. Perhaps some of these are a possibility? In any case it looks as if the next few years could see a stirring of exhibition this space. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Etchings and drypoints brought back to life...

Today I went along with Ella Cole to Prospect Studios in Waterfoot to see the finished set of prints that master-printer Alan Birch had produced from Dave Pearson's old etching and drypoint plates. 

Alan has resurrected 29 large plates, mainly from the 'Calendar Customs' series that Dave did throughout the 1970s, and printed two of each one beautifully on good quality paper. They are truly stunning - above are details of a couple, and a photo of Ella and Alan going through the finished prints for my benefit. 

Next week Alan will bring them among to the Dave Pearson Trust in Haslingden, and we'll choose a selection to have framed. Then we'll need to think about exhibiting them. Last week I met Wendy Gallagher from the Whitworth Art Gallery, and she suggested a number of different options, including the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh - which despite being out of the city centre is a beautiful space and, interestingly, Dave chose to show his Byzantium paintings there in 1992 - so it would be a coming home of sorts. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Encyclopaedia Series

As Ella Cole continues the epic task of cataloguing Dave Pearson's work, we have now exceeded 11000 pieces while recording the 'Encyclopaedia' series (see previous blog). These pieces number at least 200 sheets, each about 60 x 85 cms, and are of gouache and ink drawn and painted over series of photocopied adhesive sheets.

The majority of these works contain quotations from philosophers, politicians, writers and others. Dave frequently incorporates self-portraits among these, along with other drawings and a rich colouring; without obvious comment or reference to the written statements.

These works were done during Dave's last years, when he had totally filled up his studio spaces, and was too frail to continue to work on a larger scale. They have been in piles on plan chests in his studio until Ella got round to them for cataloguing. The inventiveness running throughout this series of work is impressive, as in everything Dave undertook. Having an opportunity to look more carefully at them is stimulating, and yet they are ultimately mysterious - I think that the combination of the texts and the seemingly unrelated imagery makes this so.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Number 11000!

Ella has been busy with her work at the Dave Pearson Trust - she has now moved from the top floor of the studio to the middle floor, and has just begun the process of cataloguing the works stored on that level.

I walked in the other day and she had just reached number 11000 in the cataloguing of  Dave Pearson's work. I couldn't resist taking a photo of the handwritten entry on the back of the painting. 

It's one of the large 'Encyclopaedia' series...when Dave was bedridden towards the end of his life he focused his energies on relatively small, manageable works on paper. This series used photocopied texts which he then worked over in a variety of media - gouache, pencil, ink - combined with self-portraits. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Dave Pearson on Pinterest

To see a great selection of some of Dave Pearson's work go to his page on Pinterest. It's at and there's a wide choice of great paintings, drawings and prints. You can follow the board if you wish to see new additions to the page, such as the large pastel drawing of the Minehead Hobby Hoss (above), and the graphite drawing from 'In the 7 Woods' (below).

The Pinterest page is maintained by the Dave Pearson Trust.