Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The Turnpike, Leigh

The exhibition is going up in readiness for its opening this Thursday evening. Helen Stalker, Matt Retallick and the team at the Turnpike have been as helpful as anyone could have hoped, and already its looking fantastic. 

There's not been much for Ella, Alastair, or myself to do as they have an experienced team hanging the paintings. Other than driving over and unloading yesterday, and then laying out the work as we wanted it, everything else has been done by the gallery. Today, having noted some bad scratches in one or two places, I came back with Dave's restorers kit, and Ella brought her distilled water and baby wipes to clean the few dirty patches. 

The gallery itself is now looking classy, and their refurb has worked really well. In addition Helen has arranged a whole raft of activities that have been inspired by the exhibition. Our friend, the artist Alan Birch has been working with local schools including Moorside Primary School and Bedford High, to create prints inspired by Dave's 'Calendar Customs'. 

The artists from Pen Chant are showing their dance-and-poetry work inspired by Dave Pearson 'Newfangled!' on Friday evening at 7.30pm, and on Saturday 23rd there's a new idea being tried - a community lunch between 12midday and 2pm. There have been a number of community workshops too, including work with Roma children. 

Hearing and seeing all of this going on alongside a show which returns to the material Dave created for the 1994 exhibition has been very inspiring. Although the lighting still has to be put on the canvases, the smaller works still have to be hung, and a final tidy before the gallery opens for Thursday, its already clear that this is going to be a very special event and one that the Studio is proud of being part of.

Monday, 11 June 2018

New exhibition at the Dave Pearson Studio

Running parallel with preparations for the large-scale show at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh, which opens on Thursday 21st June, we're busy mounting a much smaller scale show at Dave Pearson's studio in Haslingden. The contrast between some his biggest and most ambitious works and the small and intimate self-portraits on show in Haslingden will demonstrate Dave's unusually wide range as an artist.

We're letting the dust settle on the Turnpike show then having a whole day opening at the studio on Sunday 1st July, from 11am until 7pm. So put the date in your diary and drop in at any time for a drink, nibbles, and a close look at over 40 self-portraits which have never before been shown outside of London. 

We've also been busy in other ways. In conjunction with Apna, who share the old studio with us, we've installed a new kitchen. Apna have also been awarded a small grant by Marks and Spencer to improve the back yard, and we hope that by the opening we'll have plants and possibly seating gracing the rear of 54 Manchester Road

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Dave Pearson: Return to Leigh

Actually it should be Dave Pearson: Return to Byzantium, and it's opening shortly at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh, Wigan. 

It's a return because most of the work in the exhibition was shown in the same gallery in 1994. But this time we've stripped that show down to its essentials. In other words we're simply exhibiting the large central panels, without the smaller pieces that were originally placed around them. So it's a kind of Byzantium Unplugged.  

The Preview is on Thursday 21st June, 6 - 8pm. After that it's open until August 4th

Getting the pieces out from storage and looking at them up close has been fascinating - finding all the little details (above and below) that get overlooked when you're standing back and looking at the large triptychs, most of which are around 4 metres long. 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Belper, Kunst and beyond

We can report that the newly established Dave Pearson Studio organisation is settling in well, and now has its legs comfortably stretched out under the table. 

The first month has been spent reorganising the office on Manchester Road, partly so things are filed in a way that Dave's son Chris can access them, but just as much so that Apna, who share the building with us, have proper desks and storage for their new staff.

We also have our builders in, improving the kitchen space and fixing a hole in the roof that has been staining the ceiling of the upstairs gallery space. 

In terms of showing Dave Pearson's work there's also a lot happening. This Saturday (19th) there's a showing at 7pm of Derek Smith's wonderful 'Dave Pearson: To Byzantium' film at the Kunst Gallery in Belper. An exhibition of a the amazing late series of 'The Day of The Dead' (below) will then be on show at the gallery until 17th June. This will all be happening at the Kunst Gallery, Campbell Street, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1AP.

While the Belper exhibition is running, we'll be working on getting things ready for the large-scale 'Return to Byzantium' show at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh, WN7 1EB, which will open on the 21st June and run from 23rd June until 4th August. More about this in our next blog.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Goodbye to the Trust; welcome the Studio!

The Dave Pearson Trust closed down at the end of last month, to be replaced by The Dave Pearson Studio. As a result Dave's work is now back in the hands of his son Chris. I'll continue to run things, and Ella will carry on archiving and helping support our work. 

So, it's a time of major change for us, and the office here in the studio is being set up to work more effectively for The DP Studio,as well as for Apna (who shares the premises) and for me as landlord (I'll be using it as a base too). We've already put in faster wifi and a more ethical power supply. Our email remains the same though, dptrust54@gmail.com

In the next few months we'll be hanging a new exhibition of a selection of Dave's self-portraits in our gallery on the top floor. We'll be sending out invites shortly for the opening. We're also getting our builders in to improve the kitchen area, (and sort out the leaking roof). Then we'll be moving some of the larger Byzantium pictures to the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh for a major exhibition opening on the 21st June. 

Monday, 12 March 2018

We now have a regular Monday morning meeting with Chris Pearson, in which together we look at the final details associated with transferring his father's estate from the Trust back to him.

Today we went along to Chris's house. It's just 100 metres down from the studio, which is where the vast majority of Dave's work is stored and where the Trust has its base.

Chris showed us 100 large canvases that are at the house (above); upstairs are perhaps a 1000 or more large works on paper, and some of these can be seen in the photograph below. Ella hopes to be able to record these too, and add them to the Catalogue. 

We took a couple boxes of mixed work back to the studio - pastels, gouaches, drypoints - and emptied them as soon as we got back. Already we're seeing some interesting new work, which has been unseen for many years.

Monday, 5 March 2018

DP Trust becomes DP Studio

The Dave Pearson Trust will no longer exist at the end of this month. For reasons that have been documented in detail in this blog, we're voluntarily handing the assets of the Trust - Dave Pearson's paintings - back to Dave's son Chris, in order to avoid a large tax bill. This is not taxation on our earnings (if only) but on the legally necessary 10 year-on assessment of the value of the estate that was left at Dave's death. In other words the result of all our hard work over the past 9 years has been to increase the value of Dave's paintings - and as a result there's a potentially large increase in the death duty payable on his estate. Any Trust has to be re-assessed and pay this every 10 years - or hand the estate back to the benefactor, which is what we're doing. 

We met today to discuss the details. Opening a new bank account; moving standing orders; agreeing on a new lease for the studio...and so on. The new company, which will be managed by Chris Pearson, will be called The Dave Pearson Studio. It will take the place of the Trust, and start operating at the beginning of April 2018. 

Margaret Mytton and I (Bob Frith) will cease to be Trustees, although I will continue to help Chris. Ella Cole will still help out too. By coincidence Ella has nearly completed cataloguing the work in the studio, and this has reached 13,314 pieces of work. Whether she continues to catalogue the few thousand additional pieces at Chris's home will have to be seen.

To reassure our friends, buyers and collectors, it needs to be said that the studio at 54 Manchester Road, Haslingden BB4 5TE will continue to house Dave's work, and it will be open to visitors as before. In fact we plan to open for special exhibitions rather more frequently than before, so on the surface anyway, things will be much the same.