Friday, 23 December 2011

A visit to 54

As work winds down for the Christmas break, Margaret and I found time to meet up at the studio on 54 Manchester Road, and welcome two visitors, David Maclagan and Lynne Green, to show them around the studio and look at some of Dave's work. 

David I last met 30 years ago, but I've followed his writings in Raw Vision, as he is an artist, writer and lecturer who has a special interest in Outsider Art and art therapy. Lynne, it slowly dawned on me, is the writer of a book about the painter Wilhelmina Barns Graham, and I had a long discussion in the summer with an old friend, Jenny Wilson, who is a Trustee of the Barns Graham Trust, swapping notes on the issues faced by trustees of trusts that hold the legacy of a single artist. 

David is currently working on a book about 'automatic' drawing, as part of his work on imaginal psychology. Automatic drawing extends, I suppose, from doodling through to the use of the technique by certain of the Surrealists. He was interested in a number of pieces by Dave Pearson which appear to use a similar technique, and he left with half a dozen such drawings to consider for his book.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

News from MMU

A small ink drawing from the late 1960s when
Dave's work centered on a Van Gogh theme.

Followers of An Artist's Estate will have noticed a long interval since the last post. Apologies - I've been working on getting two Christmas productions on stage; Margaret Mytton has been involved in one of the busiest periods of work on the Foundation Course at MMU, and Julian and Jackie of the See Gallery have been moving house. 

Now finally things are beginning to wind down, and Margaret emailed me with very good news which will enable her to take a central role in planning and curating the forthcoming exhibition (in April 2012) of Dave Pearson's work at the Bermondsey Place Gallery. She wrotes "MIRIAD - Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design - has agreed to fund replacement teaching time for me during this period. This will be an absolute life saver in that I'll be able to focus almost entirely on the exhibition and the catalogue. January will also be a very busy time in terms of planning for the exhibition and the catalogue..... What it means is that I will remain Admissions Tutor, most of which work I'm able to fulfil away from college....but I will have a period of leave from early February (excluding the interviews) until May."

From what I heard later the offer will extend to supporting the production of a catalogue for the exhibition, which Margaret will co-curate with Edward Lucie-Smith.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

A discovery

Interesting - following a link on BBC Your Paintings website to the Public Catalogue Foundation (click here for your own link) I discovered three paintings by Dave Pearson in the University of Liverpool collection - and a link to a current exhibition, A Matter of Taste at the University of Liverpool where an, excellent, untitled painting by Dave has been selected for inclusion by Bryan Biggs, Director  of the Bluecoats Gallery in Liverpool (below). 

Monday, 21 November 2011

'To Byzantium' online

You can now watch the whole of Derek Smith's film about Dave Pearson free on-line. Go to :

This is available through The Community Channel. Their own description of the film is:

Artist Dave Pearson lived in Rossendale for forty years but few people would know about the extraordinary world he created in their midst. When he died, Dave Pearson’s friends and family opened up his studio and discovered his life’s work: twenty thousand drawings, prints and paintings. Pearson had shunned publicity and had sold very little work, the building around him was disintegrating.
This film is about the efforts of a small group of dedicated people to rescue the work of Britain’s best, least known painter and present it to a new audience. The film explores what made Pearson so special as an artist but most importantly it documents the epic task involved in bringing Pearson’s work back to life and in restoring his once derelict working space. The studio is now ready to become a focus for art in Rossendale Valley and beyond. Pearson, an unknown artist, is now poised and ready to enter the pantheon of British art.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A week is a long time

This has been an eventful week for the Trust.

First, Chris Pearson told me on Thursday that our solicitor telephoned to say that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have closed the files on our case about the Death Duty on Dave's estate. This had been hanging over us for well over a year and, although I felt sure that we had done everything correctly, it meant all our financial transactions had a deeply worrying shadow hanging over them. Chris, in particular, had been very affected - unable to get work done on the house where he and Dave had lived because of the fear of a potentially enormous tax bill. 

Another interesting development was a three way discussion between Sergei Reviakin, Edward Lucie-Smith and Margaret Mytton comparing some of Dave's work from the 1990s with Andre Masson and Pavel Filonov. Edward had started this off on his visit commenting how some of the works we showed him reminded him of Masson.... 

Animals - Pavel Filonov

Interior - Dave Pearson

Tower - Andre Masson

Rock Pool - Dave Pearson

Finally last night To Byzantium was shown on the Community Channel at 10pm. Apparently it's being shown again tomorrow (Sunday) at 1.30 pm and Wednesday 16th at 10.00pm. 

A lot to be grateful for. 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Visitors, and colour

Chris, Margaret and I have spent most of the weekend at Dave Pearson's Studio in Haslingden, showing Dave's work to Edward Lucie-Smith; and a Russian collector, Sergei Reviakin - who is a friend of Edwards. 

This has been a stimulating meeting for the members of the Trust. Wonderful for us to hear our guests sharing our enthusiasm for these unseen and largely unknown works, but also there's a tremendous amount for us to learn about the London art market - quite apart from the international one. Edward and Sergei have been very generous in giving us advice on these things, and left us with lots to consider and decide on before we move on to the next stage, including the London exhibition, opening late April 2012, in Bermondsey.

Among a wide-ranging discussion, we talk of the history of the white planters in the West Indies and the influence of Lancashire (and cricket) in the independence movement, Byzantine architecture, animation, and, of course, lots about the London art scene. We talk of the art and impact of using colour, sadly often neglected by painters these days and perhaps more to be found in the work of textile and fabric artists. Edward talks enthusiastically about Dave's rare sense of colour... 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Another busy time

Margaret and I are both very busy with our jobs at present - Margaret with her lecturing on the Foundation Course at MMU, and myself working on a new production at Horse + Bamboo Theatre. But work for the Trust continues to move on, and in the past week we've discovered that The Return, the exhibition at The House of the Nobleman in Regents Park, London is going to remain open, and so Dave Pearson's pieces in the show will stay, for now, in this impressive setting. 

Next weekend we're expecting a visit from Edward Lucie-Smith, and a contact in London who is interested in seeing Dave's work in its Rossendale setting - at his old studio, now refurbished, in Haslingden. So I met with Julian and Jackie from the See Gallery to look at how we might fill the holes on the walls of the studio. At the moment, following the number of sales from the Reveal Open Studio weekend, there are rather a lot of these. Sales of work continue too, and Julian has had buyers visiting last weekend - and another yesterday. 

It's certainly an interesting time for the Trust. The planned exhibition in Bermondsey, London has been moved forward to May 2012; the idea of a major show at Dean Clough has also moved forward a step with a visit to the studio having been arranged, through Margaret, with the curators. Because of our own work commitments, it's incredibly valuable to have Julian and Jackie able to support the Trust in this way; without them a lot of opportunities to continue to develop Dave's reputation would be lost.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Conservation issues

The Return, the exhibition at The House of the Nobleman finishes today. It will be interesting to know what interest there has been in Dave Pearson's work as a result. Being in London none of us have been able to travel down to see it, but we're told by a few friends and acquaintances who have made the journey, that the exhibition looks 'stunning'. 

Last weekend, the three members of the Trust met with Pauline Birtwell, an expert on preserving works on paper, who works for Lancashire Conservation Studios in Preston. Pauline lives locally and kindly gave up part of her weekend to advise us as to the storage and conservation issues we face - especially of the vulnerable works on paper. 

The issues are potentially daunting, but Pauline advised us to take it 'bit by bit'. Our first steps will be to buy acid free tissue paper to separate out the individual works on paper, and to buy special plastic sheeting to separate the stacked up piles of paintings. We'll need to start handling the paper works wearing gloves, and vulnerable pieces will need to be removed from the drawers and placed in their own separate boxes to await treatment. 

The main issue for us, apart from the time we'll need to do this, is where do we find the additional storage room that this will ultimately require? At present the plan-chests we have may well have 100 sheets in each drawer, and the weight of these will itself contribute to the deterioration of the work. Pauline suggested looking into a Heritage Lottery Grant in order to pay both for the resources, but also for trained conservers, to undertake this work. 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Split Tree Warriors - and another busy week

We recently sold four of the 'outliers' from Byzantium - meaning the secondary panels that Dave designed to hang round the main panels of the Byzantium series, usually related to the architecture of the gallery spaces in which he was showing that wonderful series. Although the central Byzantium pieces are not currently for sale the outlying panels are, and those above were purchased recently. These are designed for 'The Split Tree', and so they are known as 'The Split Tree Warriors'. The buyer kindly sent us a photograph of them in situ at their new home (above); below is a photo he took when they were hanging at the See Gallery. 

Meanwhile The House of the Nobleman exhibition has opened in London; Margaret and I are talking with Edward Lucie-Smith about a possible new date for the exhibition in Bermondsey and I've finally managed to move the Artlook software to a dedicated laptop with the help and support of Charles Davies of Artlook. 

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Small developments

Untypically the three of us who make up the Trust met once again this week. This time to sort out a satisfactory arrangement with Julian Williams and Jackie Taylor (who together make up the See Gallery) with regard to the increasing amount of work they are doing for us - dealing with sales of work; framing and delivering paintings to buyers, and generally doing a lot of the house-keeping jobs that we don't have time for. Although Margaret and I both have busy full-time jobs, we're also closely involved with Trust business on a day-to-day basis but the simple fact is that the amount of work has increased recently. In part this is to do with interest generated by the film, but also the success of the Reveal Open Studio weekend, and our realisation that we now need to concern ourselves with protecting the most vulnerable work, build on the interest following the film, and continue to catalogue some of the key pieces of work. 

One of these key series is, naturally, the truly awesome Byzantium series of paintings. One of which, Bridge Street, is shown above. Made up of two panels - like most of Byzantium its a group of panels - it's nearly 2.5 metres high by over 2.75 metres width. Now, with Margaret Mytton having photographed the series, I've been able to bring these images together with the measurements and finally add them to the catalogue of work.  

Sunday, 2 October 2011

'The Return'

"Following on from the success of last year’s ‘The House of the Nobleman’ art exhibition, curator Victoria Golembiovskaya is pleased to announce her second installment in the series, ‘The Return’, opening 14th-23rd October 2011 at Boswall House, a magnificent 15,000 sq. ft. Grade I listed Regency mansion at 2 Cornwall Terrace, overlooking Regent’s Park and the nearby activity of Frieze Art Fair.

"One of the largest and most significant privately sponsored art exhibitions held during the Frieze Art Fair, ‘The Return’ explores ideas of the sacred in art, design and contemporary thought, exhibiting rare and previously unseen works from the most prestigious international collections alongside today’s most notable artists and designers.  Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, Zaha Hadid, Damien Hirst, Claude Monet and Yves Klein are just a few amongst the many represented."

Above is part of the press release about the exhibition at the 'House of the Nobleman' in London. We have been able to include several pieces by Dave Pearson in the exhibition - two are shown above. Margaret Mytton has also written the catalogue entry, part of which is below:

Dave Pearson’s prolific output rivals that of any of the 20th century masters, yet it is only now, 3 years since his death, that his work is becoming known. Pearson was a passionate, intuitive artist whose approach was always deeply personal, yet because of the directness, honesty and intensity of his perceptions, his work always speaks to the human condition.

The work in the exhibition was produced towards the end of Pearson’s life, when he was scrutinising his own mortality, both by dissecting the moments of his own experience, and by reflecting on the thoughts of philosophers, poets and others. Paralleling the clash of thoughts and feelings, the work is a collage of photographic, drawn and painted imagery, very often involving self-portraits, which visualise but cannot fix the fleeting moment.

Monday, 26 September 2011

The House of the Nobleman

On Friday we had a Trust meeting. We covered an exceptionally wide agenda - including our continued worries about HMRC and the issue of Estate Duty; pleasure at the amount of sales at the Open Studio weekend; additional worries about protecting vulnerable works on paper at such events, when our storage system can break down as visitors look through the drawers and unwittingly cause damage; and the matter of defining our developing relationship with Julian Williams and Jackie Taylor of the See Gallery more precisely.

Margaret Mytton reported back on the upcoming exhibition at the House of the Nobleman at Cornwall Terrace, Regents Park, in London. This, entitled 'The Return', and on the theme of works with a theological dimension, will include 8 newly framed works on paper by Dave Pearson, alongside a powerpoint presentation of her own collection of works from the Book of Revelation, that Dave donated to her before his death. Margaret has experienced communication problems with the curators but all now seems to be resolved, and Julian will deliver the pieces to London at the end of the month.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Following on...

I spent all of yesterday cataloguing the 54 pieces of work we sold at the Open Studios weekend. This means entering them into our Artlook software. Part of the day was also altering the software's default 'Stock Information Sheet' to incorporate the statement that Edward Lucie-Smith advised us to include on the sheet, asking future purchasers to notify the Trust of any change of ownership. Now I can print a full-colour A4 sheet for each buyer that gives them the necessary information about the piece, and its provenance. 

Then this morning I've written a report for the Borough Council on the open studio weekend (they gave us some funding towards it); a suggested Agenda for the Trust meeting this weekend, and a letter to our solicitor with a copy of the 'To Byzantium' DVD because we believe the Customs and Excise inspector looking at the issue of the Estate Duty may well be making his visit shortly. Although the DVD wasn't in any way made for this reason, it happens to function as the lead witness for the defense (!), in that it records, on film, the terrible state of the studio and the work in it at the time of Dave's death, and the tremendous work that has been done to remedy the situation and, as a result, considerably increase the value of the artwork. 

Meanwhile Margaret Mytton is trying to arrange a small exhibition of some of Dave's work in London, although communications are proving frustratingly difficult for her. More of this in a later blog I'm sure...

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Cataloguing work

Photographs courtesy of Derek Smith

The three photographs above are from the Cornerhouse launch weekend. At the top, in the Cornerhouse cinema with Dave's daughter Florence front left; below that myself and Chris Pearson post-curry; and the lower photograph myself with Edward Lucie-Smith

Edward gave us a lot of practical help. Not only helping with future showings of Dave Pearson's work in London, but also plenty of detailed advice - on what type of certification to provide buyers of Dave's work, and what information to add to those certificates, for example.

So this weekend, following on from the launch weekend and last weekend's Open Studios, there are 20 or so such certificates to produce to accompany the pieces of work sold. The new certificates will provide the following information: a catalogue number, a title, dimensions, media, a colour thumbnail image of the work, address of the Dave Pearson Trust, and a sentence or two asking buyers to notify the Trust should they sell the work to another buyer. I'll need to do this using the Artlook software, which provides a basic template, but it will need additions to create a fully comprehensive sheet using Edward's model.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A very special weekend

125 people came through the studio this weekend. In addition to the three Trust members we had 5 people 'on duty' all day answering questions and showing visitors Dave Pearson's work. Julian and Jackie of the See Gallery are to thank for supervising this event, and the volunteers who made it possible to open all the rooms to the public. Not least Dave Smith who stood faithfully by his post from 10 until 5 both days.

The reaction was unanimously positive - and many people stayed to watch the film, which was shown throughout the day, on each hour. We also sold a considerable amount of work - something I'm especially happy to do after the big outlay that the Trust have had recently on the film and the launch of the film. 

There's no doubt that interest and excitement about Dave is developing. This is really exciting and encourages me in feeling that the decisions we've made the past two years, some undeniably risky, have been the right ones.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Come and visit

The Open Studios weekend in Rossendale starts in less than an hours time. All the main studios in the Rossendale Valley open their doors from 10.30 until 5.00 pm today and tomorrow. A great opportunity to see some excellent art and some really fascinating studio spaces.

Dave Pearson's studio at 54 Manchester Road in Haslingden (BB4 5TE) is no exception. Last night all the artists did a road trip around one another's studios. Above we see a group watching To Byzantium, the new film about Dave which will be on screen throughout this weekend, and also Julian and Jackie of the See Gallery who have helped the Trust curate the exhibit. 

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Roads opening up...

Edward Lucie-Smith talking to Chris Pearson, Dave's son
The film-maker, Derek Smith
Derek Smith, Margaret Mytton, and Edward Lucie-Smith
Since the launch of To Byzantium (Derek Smith's film about Dave Pearson) on Sunday things have moved on quickly. The day gave us the opportunity, with Edward Lucie-Smith present at the launch, to discuss his plans for the London show of Dave's work in more detail. 

But since then all sorts of new initiatives have started to emerge. Yesterday Margaret Mytton seemed to be sending me an hourly email update as Edward's plans began to take wing. First an opportunity to show Dave Pearson's series of drawings and other works on paper based on The Book of Revelation at The House of the Nobleman in Richmond, in a show associated with the Frieze Art Fair in conjunction with Victoria Golembiovskava, Curator of the House of the Nobleman.  These were given by Dave to Margaret and she has hoped for some time to be able to show the previously unseen work comprising well over 200 drawings, gouaches and watercolours. This exhibition will be a wonderful curtain-raiser for the Bermondsey show too.

Then Vic Allen, the Art Curator at the Dean Clough Galleries got in touch with Margaret as a result of Edward's contacts. There is now a real likelihood of an opportunity to show a version of the London show at these wonderful galleries in Halifax. Finally, Edward has both found a sponsor for a poetry award associated with a poetry competition and is discussing the idea of commissioning a piece of music, both around the theme of Byzantium (remembering of course the common source in Yeat's poem) and tying these events in with the opening of the London show - all in a year's time.

I had a discussion about these events with Margaret last night. We're both very, very excited about what has happened so rapidly after the launch of the film. Much of the credit must go to Edward Lucie-Smith championing Dave's work, of course, as well as Derek Smith's excellent and moving film. We had wondered 'what next?' after the film, but we've hardly had time to draw breath when all sorts of roads are now opening up under our feet.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Off to the launch of 'To Byzantium' - and afterwards

I'm just about to set off to Manchester's Cornerhouse cinema for the launch of Derek Smith's film about Dave Pearson, the film commissioned by the Trust and the result of over a years filming and editing. I've already seen the film, of course, but am really looking forward to seeing it on the big screen. Some screen grabs from the film below... 

Four in the afternoon, and it's over. What a lovely morning; more than a 100 people at the Cornerhouse screening and all seemingly unanimous in the feeling that Derek's film is a tremendous achievement. It combines an informative approach to the story of Dave's life, with a heartfelt and ultimately very emotional story of his final years, while at the same time giving plenty of exposure to Dave's wonderful work. Derek described it, tellingly, as "a film about friendship".

Lots of the audience hadn't met one another for years, so there was also a great feeling of stories being told, reminiscences shared, and the simple pleasure of old friends meeting up. The group were family, neighbours, friends, ex-colleagues, college people, buyers of Dave's work, and ex-students, with many falling into more than one category. 

Margaret and Derek gave a short introduction; I captured some of it on film, and afterwards we all retired across the road to the Palace Hotel to swap more stories, plan futures, and eat pastries.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Julian has his work cut out.

Julian (of the See Gallery) and I spent a few hours in Dave's old studio yesterday making some decisions on what new pieces to display for next weekend's Open Studio event. 

Of course most of the studio is crammed with thousands of paintings and drawings and isn't a showing space in the normal sense of the word. But we do have one downstairs room, and an upper landing/corridor that provide something like gallery conditions. 

We decided that we should give the whole place a makeover since, broadly, the same paintings have been given prominence since we restored the building at the end of 2009. Only when a piece has been sold have I added a new painting to the display areas. Julian has also had several of the works on paper mounted and framed - these were mainly done by Dave in his last years. They look really wonderful and most have never been seen before.

There's an added urgency as the writer and critic Edward Lucie-Smith is travelling up from London tomorrow (in order to be present at Sunday's launch of the To Byzantium film) and he'll take a trip out to Haslingden for his first look at Dave's work in the flesh. So it makes sense to have the hanging finished, or as close to being finished as is possible, by the end of the day. Julian has his work cut out.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


Screen grab from 'To Byzantium' - moving work from Globe Arts Studios

1,000 clear wrapped copies of the DVD 'To Byzantium' have arrived from the duplication plant. They are piled up in the See Gallery, waiting for distribution - which will start immediately after the launch at the Cornerhouse in two weeks time. They look great.

Invites have been sent out and people are beginning to call in to reserve their seats. Margaret Mytton is helping Julian in chasing people up for their RSVPs. Further, Derek Smith, the director of the film, has shown it to Alex Kann, at the Community Channel, and he has said that they are keen to show it as part of an upcoming arts season.

Mental Note: The Trust urgently needs to prepare itself for these events. We need to decide how we'll respond to all sorts of possible enquiries once the film has been released, and as it begins to be seen more widely. 

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


A reminder that on Saturday and Sunday 10th and 11th of September we're holding the annual REVEAL Open Studios event in Rossendale. 

Once again Dave Pearson's old studio in Haslingden will take part, this year with a completely new exhibition and also a special showing all weekend of the new film 'TO BYZANTIUM' about Dave's life and work. 

Julian and Jackie of the See Gallery have sent out invites now for the launch of the film the previous weekend at the Cornerhouse and we're beginning to get replies. We're particularly delighted that Edward Lucie-Smith will be able to travel up from London for the showing.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

A holiday break

I'm taking a holiday break in a few days time so inevitably there are a lot of jobs to be undertaken in preparation both for the launch of the film and for the Open Studio weekend (10th/11th September). Fortunately Julian Williams of the See gallery will be working on things in my absence; so yesterday and today we met with Chris Pearson to discuss the jobs and make various arrangements. 

First a dozen pieces of work were selected from those that remain at Dave's old house (where his son Chris still lives). These are pieces on paper from the last period of Dave's life - mainly gouaches of his hospital experiences. Despite this subject they are glowing with colour and life. They have never been seen so the Open Studio event will be exhibiting 6 or 7 of them for the first time. Julian will take this selection to be framed in the next few days. It is very much a selection - there are probably another 100 in the house. We also noted a minimum of another 1000 pieces of work on paper on the top floor. It never ends....

Julian and Chris will also start moving some of the large pieces between the house and the studio next week, so we can rearrange the display and have new pieces on show for Reveal Open Studios. The film 'To Byzantium' will also be shown that weekend.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A DVD design

The artwork for TO BYZANTIUM is now complete - which includes a cover (above), a booklet insert and an inlay label for the DVD. I've also designed an invitation to be sent out to people for the launch event at the Cornerhouse, Manchester on the 4th September. Everything will go off to the print company on Tuesday.

There are only 158 seats in Cinema 2, so we're having to ask everyone who receives an invite to phone or email in order to reserve their seats. 

It looks as if, from an email we've received from the film maker, Derek Smith, that an exhibition of Dave's work has now been agreed for BERMONDSEY PROJECT SPACE - for September 2012; almost exactly a year after the launch of the film. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Frame grabs from "To Byzantium'

The film arrived yesterday. A box of DVD and Blu-Ray discs, permissions and credits, plus a complete hard-drive was delivered. Closely followed by a disc of screen grabs from the film. Among which:
Dave Pearson's studio in Haslingden
The waterfall at The Valley of Desolation, where Dave wanted his ashes scattered.
Haslingden scene - note the billboard headline.
A grab from rare footage of Dave teaching at Manchester Art College (now MMU).
The writer and critic Edward Lucie-Smith, who adds a critical perspective.
Now I need to design the artwork for the DVD; this will be duplicated in time for the launch of the film at the beginning of September. 

Sunday, 3 July 2011


Planning for both the completion of the film, now with an agreed title - 'DAVE PEARSON: TO BYZANTIUM', and the launch of the film at The Cornerhouse, Manchester, are well underway. This will be the culmination of well over a year of work by the Trust, and by the director of the film, Derek Smith, on and off for almost exactly a year.  

The Trust are also discussing exactly how the relationship with Jackie and Julian of the See Gallery will work. Julian in particular will be taking on the arrangements for the launch. If this works out, we'll also be asking him to take a lead of planning future exhibitions of work by Dave Pearson, including - hopefully - one in 2012 at the Bermondsey PROJECT SPACE. 

Saturday, 25 June 2011


Edward Lucie-Smith speaking; Margaret Mytton
to his left

From the left: Leslie Morphy (CEO Crisis), Marcel Baetig (CEO Bow Arts),
ELS, MM, and Mick Bateman (Manager of the Project).
Yesterday afternoon I travelled down to London with Margaret Mytton to the opening of the Bermondsey Project Space. For us, this development has grown from Edward-Lucie Smith's involvement in Derek Smith's film. ELS mentioning the Bermondsey project and suggesting it as a gallery space in which to show Dave Pearson's work. Derek joined us at the opening, travelling from his house in Hackney.

The Project is a new initiative; a very exciting coming together of CRISIS (the charity for the homeless), Bow Artists' studios, and the vision of Edward Lucie-Smith. In fact quite a visionary project on all fronts, because it must have taken an imaginative leap for the charity to see the potential for artist's studios, and a gallery space, to become a building block in creating opportunities for homeless young people. 

So what we saw was a brand new gallery on the ground floor of a London version of a mill building; and on the 3rd and 4th floors at least 60 artists' studios - collectively part of the Bow Arts group. The gallery was an exhuberant space, with good light, good acoustic, and with a great presence - one large and characterful space, with smaller offshoot rooms and wide corridors - a perfect place to show paintings.

We talked with ELS, who had clearly already given the idea of an exhibition of Dave's work some serious thought; as he showed us around he told us how he imagined we might use parts of the space. We also began to look at the periods available to us - this will be organised with Mick Bateman, who manages the new space and is an artist himself, and will be at some point next year. The idea of the show is thrilling, and there's every reason to think this space could develop under the management of a very dedicated, ambitious and imaginative team, into one of London's most exciting new galleries. The perfect place to show some of Dave Pearson's large paintings.