Monday, 29 March 2010

Making space for the big paintings

The photograph (above) is of one of the upstairs rooms in the refurbished studio. You can see where we've piled boxes and groups of the smaller paintings and other work; in the background are notebooks and very small works. With the exception of a handful or two of small paintings and a pile of perhaps 3 or 400 works on paper from the late hospital period, we now have all of Dave's small works back in his old studio (always excepting those that remain in the house, and those that are still at Globe Arts Studio in Stacksteads  - another 1000?). 

That leaves 200 large paintings to be brought over from the storage space at Albion Mill. This will happen next week, so we're now busy freeing up space in the lower floors of the studio to accommodate them. Tomorrow we'll free up two large rooms, one on each of the lower floors, and remove any work from the walls that will hinder carrying the large pieces into the building. Finally we'll protect, as best we can, the glass and paintwork. 

Once that's over there will be the slow patient work of organising all of the work; cataloguing it; and displaying it so visitors can see a small selection of work by Dave Pearson.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


In the event Eddie, Peter, Kay and Sean helped get those plan chest drawers carried right up to the top of the studio. Plus the drawings and paintings in them, of course. I worked at the top, beeswaxing the inside of the chests so the drawers ran smoothly. So, total delight at getting a difficult job done, and with a light touch and good humour too. 

Then, at the same time, a party of friends, old friends, and their friends turned up and spent a while investigating the studio. Everyone bought a work and left delighted. So - a good day all round.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Progress - and a twisted knee

We made good progress on Monday moving the smaller items from the store in Albion Mill. Without Jonny Quick's help I simply couldn't have done it. In the event it turned out to be (surprise, surprise) a bigger job than I envisaged. We cleared out, and filled a skip with, all the rubbish and moved all the smaller paintings. But the plan chests had more works on paper in them than I remembered, and drawer after drawer revealed quite amazing treasures.

Then, mid-afternoon I twisted my knee and couldn't do much. Fortunately Julian Williams (See gallery) dropped everything and came to the rescue, working with Jonny to carry the drawers full of work into the studio. So at the end of the day most everything was done - but there's still a metre-deep pile of work on paper to be brought over, and all the drawers of work need to be carried up to the top floor of the studio. Then, finally, the downstairs storage rooms need to be emptied in time for the removers over Easter - when the large works will come back home to the studio.

So the removal company have now been booked - for the two days after Easter Bank Holiday Monday. I now need some help with the final jobs (see above) and I'm appealing for volunteers - so it's fingers crossed!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The next phase

On Monday the next phase starts! We're spending the day at the storage space doing two things - firstly, moving out (to the studio) anything that will fit into my mid-size Toyota van, and second, tidying the store so that only the large paintings remain there.

To recap - when Dave's studio was cleared out for the refurbishment all his work was put into storage in an old mill space, roughly 6 miles away. Since the work was completed on the studio I've gradually brought the smaller pieces back, and in December we had an opening to celebrate that fact. But since then a large number of big paintings (300?) have remained at the store. This isn't great as its (a) damp, and (b) costs about £400 a month in rent. So tomorrow the final step in moving everything back to the studio starts.

By big paintings, by the way, I mean canvases of about 1.5 x 2.2 metres in size.

Then over Easter I'll hire a remover with a big van to recover the big paintings and (with help) I'll move these back to the studio, and the whole storage issue will be over. No more damp or rental to pay.

My worry is that we'll actually fit all the big paintings back in. Logically they all came out, so they should go back. But I've taken over the ground floor front room, which is the most accessible space, as a gallery room. So without this it's possible we won't have enough space to return all the work. I'll report when when we cross that bridge....