Sunday, 20 January 2013

Full of activity - briefly

We battled up to Dave's old studio in Haslingden today for a get-together with various people, all excited by Dave's work. Ella and her husband Max delivered a desk for me to use (as Ella has, necessarily, taken over all the other work surfaces).  Julian and Jackie turned up with John, the framer, and his partner Sarah. John is the framer we tend to use, both because his work is truly excellent and because he also has a great eye for effectively solving some of the problems that turn up from time to time with Dave's work - such as how to deal with the cardboard reliefs made by Dave in the 1960s, and now looking rather vulnerable. 

Kay, my partner, also wanted to ask John about a frame for a large pencil drawing by Dave that she has recently bought, and finally Steve H, and his son Tom, arrived to collect a particularly special 'outrider' canvas associated with the 'Byzantium' series, that he has also purchased recently.  

So the studio was, briefly, full of activity despite the cold. It's incredibly well organised nowadays compared to how it was when we bought Dave's work back from storage after the building re-fit was complete. Let alone compared to how it was when Dave died. Ella's work will help this ordering of the work continue. In her first week of work she catalogued about 100 pieces of work - remarkable progress when she is only working three short days each week. 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Ella joins the team

Dave Pearson's old studio in Haslingden is now completely set to welcome Ella Cole as the person who will work there on a regular basis cataloguing Dave's output and organising his work. To this end we've equipped the studio with additional shelving, lighting and heating, as well as a desk. I spent the afternoon with Ella going through all the necessary arrangements and teaching her the basic operations of the software programme, Artlook, that we use for producing the catalogue. 

This is a significant juncture for the Trust, although it will be a while before we gain a clear idea of just how much progress Ella will make. It has taken me three years of sporadic work to catalogue about 1400 pieces (less than 10% of the total) and it will be exciting to find out exactly how rapidly Ella moves on from this. Cataloguing involves photographing, filing, measuring and entering of data - so it needs to be done carefully and with thought, and isn't something that can be done on a production line. Almost every piece of work having its own quirks and often with unique questions that need to be resolved before the entry can be completed.