Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Early fanciful drawings

Tuesday is the day I try and overlap with Ella at the studio in Haslingden. So today we met up and, among other things, discussed where she was in cataloguing the work left by Dave. 

Ella has reached number 9050 in the catalogue. She is currently investigating the contents of the dozen or so red plastic folders stored in the roof mezzanine space. These contain a wide range of work, mostly from Dave's early period. The batch she is in the process of cataloguing are gouache, pen and ink works on paper and I would guess from the early 1960s, when Dave was in his mid 20s and studying at college. 

They're an odd mixture; Ella felt that it looks like Dave is illustrating a story of some kind. There are lots of monsters, and hillsides with steps cut into them, so it's mainly rather fanciful subject matter, and I suppose these drawings look forward to the late Bestiary work. Altogether, they are a collection of very interesting early pieces.

Friday, 3 April 2015

York - and prints.

First just to say that the current "Transitions' exhibition of Dave Pearson's work at the According to McGee gallery in York has been extended by a few days, and will now close only after Tuesday 15th April.

Margaret Mytton, one third of the Dave Pearson Trust, is now in Beijing delivering a presentation on Dave Pearson's prints at the China Academy of Fine Arts. Printmaking is something not normally associated with Dave's output, but in fact he was a brilliant printmaker. Especially from the late 1960s through to the early '80s he produced a wide range of etchings and drypoint as part of his Van Gogh and Calendar Customs series. Few were produced in editions - Dave was too impatient and frequently moved on after producing an artists' proof. But at their best these works show Dave's sensitivity and wonderful drawing skill. The example above, 'Vincent's Bible', is a one example. 

But, typically, Dave also experimented with the medium, and when Margaret met Ella recently to collect examples from the studio to take to China, Ella wrote  "Interestingly what came out of a closer examination of the plates was a deeper understanding of some of the techniques Dave employed. On some plates it is clear that he has etched and used drypoint together. He also employed the unusual technique of attaching metal cut outs to the plate. It seemed he tried to attach these 'add on's'  first by tying them on with wire and we can see the plate is actually punched with holes for this purpose in some places,and glued on in other places. Other prevalent techniques included aquatint. We also found plates that apparently have never seen a press, as well as one or two that haven't been cleaned since they were last inked up!" Below are a few of Margaret's photos of these plates: