Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Self-portraits: a showcase

We're holding a Special Open Day this Sunday, 1st July from 11am until 7pm. We've remounted the gallery areas in the old studio at 54 Manchester Road in Haslingden, BB4 5TE, and we're showing a selection of over 40 of Dave Pearson's self-portraits. 

You are invited to join us for this informal showing of some of Dave's least exhibited works - an intimate collection of paintings that reflect a wide range of moods and styles. Light refreshments will be available - access is up stairs, and sadly with no wheelchair provision.

This collection is in complete contrast to the exhibition currently showing at the Turnpike in Leigh, which is exhibiting a number of the huge Byzantium paintings from the 1990s. Many of the portraits will be contemporary with the Turnpike paintings, yet show a totally different side of the artist's vision. 

Also showing will be a small collection in the Apna space at 54 Manchester Road. These are fabrics created by local South Asian heritage women, and until recently they were on show at Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery. 

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Opening at The Turnpike

The Opening of the Turnpike's Dave Pearson: Return to Byzantium exhibition was very special, with a notable contribution from Cacophony Arkestra, who looked as if they had stepped directly out of one of Dave's paintings, and sounded brilliant.

The gallery looked stunning and, as ever with these huge Byzantium pieces, its a great relief to see them looking as powerful as remembered. We live with them at Dave's old studio, of course, but we hardly ever get to see them properly. On the whole they look as fresh as the day they were painted, although Ella Cole had to undertake a little cleaning, and I had the job of touching up a few dramatic scratches which, I'm pleased to say, have now completely disappeared. 

There was a good turn out for the evening, and Helen Stalker and the team at The Turnpike gallery did an amazing job - over several days. In addition to the opening of Dave Pearson's work there was a specially commissioned dance and poetry piece by Pen Chant, shown the following evening as part of the 'Newfangled' Cabaret. There was also community lunch on the Saturday, and in the adjoining gallery there's a showing of prints created by four local schools.

These were from workshops led by Rossendale artist Alan Birch, in which he used Dave's 'Calendar Custom' prints as inspiration (above). 

The show is at the gallery until Saturday 4th August. Opening hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am – 4pm; Saturdays 10am - 2pm. The gallery is above Leigh Library, Civic Square, WN7 1EB.

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.