Sunday, 17 February 2013

Found it!

Today I  tracked down the folder that contains most of the remaining small drawings and gouaches that Dave made in the mid- and late- 1960s inspired by his obsession with the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. I selected a few to photograph and send to a woman who had been a student of Dave's in 78/9 and only recently returned from working in the Middle East to find out about Dave's death. She asked to buy a piece in memory of Dave, who she remembered as being 'extremely kind to me...and extremely encouraging'

Searching for that folder reminded me just how few pieces remain from that relatively early period of Dave's work, and how the Trust needs to be careful and selective about those pieces that do remain, keeping examples aside for the Trust collection. This aspect of curating Dave's work is increasingly important as we get a clearer picture from the cataloguing and ordering process, (currently being done by Ella), telling us how many pieces there are from the various and different stages of Dave's output. 

By coincidence I was contacted via this blog by Katherine Tyrrell, an artist and writer who has set up an extremely valuable website Art after Death - Resources for Artists and Art Collectors which provides, in a systematic and comprehensively factual way, links and advice for anyone who finds themselves in the position that we did on Dave's death. It's also a very useful resource for living artists who wish to consider the future of their own work, and it is clearly aimed at both US and Uk based artists. Katherine also keeps an interesting blog - Making a Mark . 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A York exhibition?

Detail of a figure from a larger 'Bestiary' canvas.

We've been in discussion with a gallery in York about a possible exhibition of Dave's work sometime later this year, or next. Today the gallery owner, Greg McGee, visited us in Rossendale - I met his train at Accrington station. We then looked at the exhibition of Bestiary pieces at the See Gallery, and from there we drove up to Dave's studio in Haslingden. 

Greg made a selection of the kind of pieces he felt would work in his gallery, and chose a range of works from large canvases to smaller works on board and paper.

Ella was working away in the studio, and the meeting with Greg was an opportunity for Margaret and Julian to look at the progress she has made with cataloguing the work and ordering the catalogued pieces.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Discovery of the week

The cataloguing of Dave Pearson's work has gathered momentum and we're approaching number 2000 in the Catalogue of Work, although before getting too excited I need to remember that the numbering system started at 110, but nevertheless that means almost 1900 pieces have been recorded, titled and categorised. 

It can be a fulfilling job, briefly having that close, if brief, acquaintance with each piece as it comes under scrutiny. Last week Ella came across an unnoticed folder of about 100 gouache sketches on paper from the Vincent Van Gogh period of the mid and late 1960s. She sent me a photograph of one - the discovery of the week!

Saturday, 2 February 2013


It's exactly four years since the Dave Pearson Trust was formed in February 2009, six months after Dave Pearson's death. In that time a lot has happened. For anyone new to this blog, it has meant:
  • Moving all of his 15,000+ artworks out of the dilapidated studio
  • Rebuilding and major renovation of the inside of Dave's old studio and returning the artworks
  • Starting the job of cataloguing and organising of the paintings, drawings, prints and other artwork
  • Commissioning a comprehensive documentary film about Dave's work
  • Organising the showing of the film, now being shown regularly on the Community Channel
  • Overseeing the first major exhibition of Dave's work in London, co-curated by Edward Lucie-Smith
  • Publishing a booklet/catalogue with essays about Dave
  • Planning future exhibitions and on-going publicising of Dave's work
  • Developing links with local and other buyers, notably with the help of the See Gallery
  • Selling Dave's artwork, using the proceeds to support our work
The blog was something I started to chart the progress of the Trust as, in 2009, there were no guidelines as to how to go about what seemed a daunting task. All we had was our confidence that Dave Pearson's work was important and needed to be rescued from possible destruction, and then to be made known to the wide  world. 

So we've a lot to be happy about. The next four years? Well, we now have a part-time researcher and assistant, Ella Cole (pictured above), working so that cataloguing Dave's work is continuing on a more regular basis; Margaret Mytton is developing a new website to focus on Dave's small drawings and gouaches on the 'Book of Revelation'; I'm planning a major overhaul of our website; exhibitions are being planned in 2013; and I'm also going to concentrate on looking at major galleries as a home for one or two examples of Dave's major series of paintings. 

So plenty to get on with!