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.

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