Friday, 12 October 2018

RAT 2018

Last weekend was the annual local open studios event - Rossendale Art Trail, or RAT for short. We took part as ever (it would be hard not to as I'm the coordinator). This year our sister organisation, Apna Rossendale, also offered a very special exhibition. The Slough based artist Shamina Haq, who not only exhibited a number of her geometric pieces but was present throughout, giving demonstrations and discussing her work with visitors. 

The event naturally brought a larger proportion of visitors from the South Asian heritage communities, and most extended their visit and came upstairs to see the selection of smaller Byzantium-series panels by Dave Pearson. We had well over 100 visitors who came to see us during the weekend, and we also sold four pieces - a gouache, two prints and a ink and watercolour drawing. 

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Our new on-line gallery and shop

Over the past month or so Ella and I have been working on designing and setting up an on-line gallery and shop where Dave's work can be browsed through and items can be purchased directly. We've been able to do this through our links with Artlook Software, who designed the software for the catalogue that we've been using these past 8 years. Yesterday the site finally went live! 

Please visit us! We would be grateful to receive your feedback. 

We've started out with just a fairly small selection of works on paper, prints and small gouaches and oil paintings. Things we know that we'll be able to mail out safely and at reasonable cost. 

We hope to expand the work available on-line through time, as we get used to how on-line shopping works. 

Many thanks!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Art Trail 2018

We're currently preparing the studio on Manchester Road for a new exhibition - 'Fragments' - which will open for the 2018 Rossendale Art Trail during the first weekend in October (6/7th)...also open Friday 5th from 10.30am - 3pm. 

The exhibition will show a selection of the small oil paintings that Dave Pearson created to hang adjacent to the main multi-panel paintings of his Byzantium series. 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

An on-line shop

I've been working with Ella Cole to create a new on-line shop for purchasing Dave Pearson's work. It's an opportunity that has grown from upgrading the Artlook software that Ella has been using these past few years to catalogue Dave Pearson's work.

At the end of last year Artlook undertook a major overhaul of their software which enabled the catalogue to benefit from cloud technology for storage and our Macs to easily engage with a catalogue which previously been limited to PCs. 

One of the best things about these changes is that the new software comes with a website which can be fairly easily made into a shop for selling work. We hope that this will go live in a few weeks time, and at the moment we're creating some groupings of Dave's work for the experiment. Initially we will be offering some of his colourful Byzantium gouaches, a selection of etchings based on British Calendar Customs, smaller Byzantium-themed oil paintings, and other works on paper.   

Tuesday, 31 July 2018


There's a week left of the 'Return to Byzantium' exhibition at the Turnpike, and I've revisited several times this last month. There's also been some great feedback, and a couple of reviews including one online from Corridor8:

"Like Yeats’ poem, Pearson’s work has a mystical quality about it. Images emerge, fall back, and re-emerge with new detail as your eyes dart across the paintings and attempt to decipher their message. You fall into a lucid dream-like state where the bizarre characters within the works develop narratives of their own: ‘Hi Pink Antler Guy, where are you asking to take me?’"

I continue to be very impressed by what the Turnpike offer. Every time I've visited there's been activity in the gallery space. Usually sessions for children and families, responding to the paintings through dance, writing, or drawing. Several friends have come over too, including an old friend who travelled from Amsterdam, in large part to see the show. There's no doubt that the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I'm now feeling sad that these great paintings are soon to return to 54 Manchester Road and be placed back in stacked up piles. Waiting how long before they're taken out to be seen again?

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Self-portraits: a showcase

We're holding a Special Open Day this Sunday, 1st July from 11am until 7pm. We've remounted the gallery areas in the old studio at 54 Manchester Road in Haslingden, BB4 5TE, and we're showing a selection of over 40 of Dave Pearson's self-portraits. 

You are invited to join us for this informal showing of some of Dave's least exhibited works - an intimate collection of paintings that reflect a wide range of moods and styles. Light refreshments will be available - access is up stairs, and sadly with no wheelchair provision.

This collection is in complete contrast to the exhibition currently showing at the Turnpike in Leigh, which is exhibiting a number of the huge Byzantium paintings from the 1990s. Many of the portraits will be contemporary with the Turnpike paintings, yet show a totally different side of the artist's vision. 

Also showing will be a small collection in the Apna space at 54 Manchester Road. These are fabrics created by local South Asian heritage women, and until recently they were on show at Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery. 

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Opening at The Turnpike

The Opening of the Turnpike's Dave Pearson: Return to Byzantium exhibition was very special, with a notable contribution from Cacophony Arkestra, who looked as if they had stepped directly out of one of Dave's paintings, and sounded brilliant.

The gallery looked stunning and, as ever with these huge Byzantium pieces, its a great relief to see them looking as powerful as remembered. We live with them at Dave's old studio, of course, but we hardly ever get to see them properly. On the whole they look as fresh as the day they were painted, although Ella Cole had to undertake a little cleaning, and I had the job of touching up a few dramatic scratches which, I'm pleased to say, have now completely disappeared. 

There was a good turn out for the evening, and Helen Stalker and the team at The Turnpike gallery did an amazing job - over several days. In addition to the opening of Dave Pearson's work there was a specially commissioned dance and poetry piece by Pen Chant, shown the following evening as part of the 'Newfangled' Cabaret. There was also community lunch on the Saturday, and in the adjoining gallery there's a showing of prints created by four local schools.

These were from workshops led by Rossendale artist Alan Birch, in which he used Dave's 'Calendar Custom' prints as inspiration (above). 

The show is at the gallery until Saturday 4th August. Opening hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am – 4pm; Saturdays 10am - 2pm. The gallery is above Leigh Library, Civic Square, WN7 1EB.