Sunday, 31 January 2010

Untypical pieces of artwork

At the moment there are two things happening in parallel - preparing for a show of Dave's work at the See Gallery, and moving things around in the studio to get ready for bringing in the remainder of his work from the store. 

Julian and Jackie from the See spent two evenings last week selecting pieces. I've left them very much to make their own choices and, in the event, they have chosen a number of unusual, even untypical, pieces. One of which, a large oil of a nude, I've put above. I think this will make for an interesting exhibition - I can't wait to see the pieces framed and hung. The plan was to open on Friday 12th, but Julian has hinted that he would prefer to delay for another week. 

Margaret was able to help for a few hours last week, and went through the boxes that had been damaged by damp a few weeks ago. A lot of these were photocopies and will be thrown away; just a few were paintings or drawings that she has rescued and taken home to dry out.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

With the snow gone..

With the snow gone things are getting back to normal. The pipes have been fixed at the studio. They've been lagged too, and the lesson learned that the stop-cock gets turned off at any hint of sub-freezing temperatures. Meanwhile at the store things have dried out a little, although the work on chipboard still looks vulnerable. However we looked through the work in the store yesterday, with Jackie and Julian (See Gallery), to choose a couple of larger pieces to put into the forthcoming exhibition. 

That done, we moved some of the shaped canvases to the studio and put them up in the new space we've created in what was the attic. It's a wedge-shaped area, quite large, and ideal for triangular pieces such as these. We also dealt with some of the work that has pigeon poo on it. Fortunately this comes off with warm soapy water and a gentle rub. Dave was plagued by pigeons getting into the studio through the roof space; they sat on the hard-to-reach piles of painting and coo-ed at him. There's a story of him catching one and dispatching it bloodily with an axe. 

Otherwise, I need to plan ahead for the See exhibition, and try and tie this in with some of the visitors who want to follow-up the Radio 4 broadcast with a visit. Several different people have mentioned how they feel a film about Dave, his work, his life, the effort to 'save' the paintings, would make a great film. Some tentative progress has been made with this this space.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

...and more water

Went over to the store today, where the big paintings (and still a fair few smaller ones) are. I had checked on Friday, after the burst pipe in the studio, and everything seemed fine. At first it looked the same - then I noticed a few small puddles; then I started touching some of the pieces on the river side wall - damp or, in some cases, soaked through. Luckily none of the major pieces had been affected, but a wall of about 40 box files was saturated. Mostly, these contained photocopies for Dave's research. We moved all of these to drier areas. Two A1 folders were very wet, and one sketchbook, and I've taken these to dry out at the studio. About 20 paintings on chipboard have some damage too, but on the whole, we've been lucky. I turned up before too much harm could be done....

Where did this water come from? Not the pipes in the unit. Maybe from the upstairs units. Or leakage through the walls or roof. Whatever, not great for a place where artwork is being stored. 

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Burst pipe

I've been having to walk a mile to my car every morning because of the snow and ice - the van is still immovable. But yesterday I also needed my tools so went to Dave's studio for the first time in over a week, walking on the main road and risking the traffic over the treacherous pavements. Things looked fine as I unlocked the doors, but in the distance was the unmistakeable sound of running water. 

As I opened the door to the kitchen the sound was far louder - and water and spray was rushing down from the ceiling. The floor was soaking and the new paintwork was washing off the walls. I ran upstairs and under the toilet sink I saw water bubbling up from the floor. Then the cellar - was the stopcock there? No, but it was covered in puddles of water. Finally I located the stopcock tap and turned it; what a relief not to have that sound adding to the sense of panic. 

OK, so to take stock. No paintings damaged; soaking walls, a small hole in the kitchen ceiling damaged paintwork - and wet floors. Actually, it could have been far worse. I think it must have started that night, with the thaw, so very lucky that I turned up when I did. I rang Mark and Ray, our builders - yes, they will come round and sort it out. Phew...

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Great feedback

There has been an extremely positive response to yesterday's broadcast about Dave on Radio 4, and this good news has been cemented by having (just) organised a small show of Daves work at the See Gallery in a few weeks time - probably for the beginning of February.

All we need now is for the snow and ice to go so I can begin to ferry work around again. There's things to be framed and, of course, still the vast number of large canvases in store to move back to the studio.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

BBC broadcast

There's now a blog on the BBC iPM website about Dave and the strong possibility that the piece about the work of the Trust in restoring the studio will be broadcast on PM, Radio 4, at 5.30 this afternoon. It's entitled

And by clicking on this link you can also listen to the interview as a BBC iPlayer podcast.

Sunday, 3 January 2010


Well, yesterday iPM did broadcast a short interview with me about Dave's work and the transformation of his studio at 54 Manchester Road. Thank you to those people who rang or telephoned with their congratulations. I think that there's a chance the whole interview will be broadcast later in the month which, if that's the case, will be great boost for the Trust and Dave's reputation.

Friday, 1 January 2010

New website

One of the byproducts of being snowed in for most of the Christmas holiday is that I decided to finally make an attempt to create a new Dave Pearson website.

The reason behind this is simply that I created the original site using Dreamweaver on a PC , but I now have a Mac and didn't want to spend the (large) amount of money to buy DW for the Mac. Instead I bought Freeway 5, which is far simpler and does the job I need it to. In the meantime I haven't been able to update the current website for many months now.

So, all change and a new site has been born - fittingly on New Year's Day. Still the same address - - of course, but some new images and information. Most of all I can now easily update things. Click on the link to the right of this (the first heading under LINKS) to check it out.