Tuesday, 3 December 2019


It's now over 10 years since I started writing this blog. Initially the motivation was to give advice and support to others who might, like us, find themselves facing the daunting task of having to manage an artist's estate after their death.

Inevitably the first years' were an extremely steep learning curve - setting up a Trust; selling items of Dave's work to benefit his son Chris; cataloguing the huge amount of artwork; creating various websites; organising exhibitions; looking at the legal aspects of a complex inheritance...and so on, and on...and on.

I've documented much of this in this Artists Estate Blog and gradually, over the decade, our workload has settled down. At the same time, other changes have been made. The studio, which holds most of Dave's artwork, has given over space to local women from South Asian background - known as Apna, and their classes, workshops and various other activities have helped keep our building lively and exciting. 

But we continue to learn and develop. Over the past year or so we've wound down the Trust and from it created the Dave Pearson Studio; we've designed an on-line shop (www.dspearsonshop.co.uk) to sell original artwork by Dave Pearson, and we've curated a large-scale exhibition at The Turnpike in Leigh.

Most of the collection or work left behind by Dave Pearson has now been catalogued. But it's far from being done and dusted - just today, for instance, we've discovered a number of works on paper that somehow have been overlooked. 

The upper painting is ink on paper, and although I uncovered it a few years ago it somehow disappeared from sight and only reappeared today. The lower mixed media work, again on paper, is unusual for Dave Pearson, in its 'English romantic' colouring. I'm not at all sure of the dates of either - I think probably that they are from when Dave was in his mid-20s (early 1960s), but I'm not at all sure of this. As our archivist Ella Cole points out, the lower piece has some similarities with the Calendar Customs work of the later 1970s. 

We're on firmer ground with Dave's 'Van Gogh' period. This was from the late 1960s, and it was work he was doing when I first met him. Today we came across about 100 pieces of work from that time. They had already been catalogued, but before the present software was in place, so today we reorganised them to fit in to the new system. 

It's a period of Dave's work that we haven't done much with recently. But with the rediscovery of this tranche of drawings it could well be something we might build an exhibition around in the near future. The large-scale pieces he made at this time - the huge reconstruction of 'Van Gogh's Bedroom', or 'The Potato Eaters' have all been lost, but some of these beautiful graphic works survive and are well worth showing.