Dave Pearson (1937 – 2008) was born in London. In his thirties he began teaching on the Foundation Arts Course at Manchester College of Art (later MMU). Dave became one of my tutors, and he had a big influence on me, both as an artist and in his approach to his work. When Dave died he left close to 20,000 pieces of work in his studio. This works out at something like one piece per day for the whole of his working life; much of it complex and large-scale. It was his obsessive and dedicated commitment to this work that particularly influenced me, as well as his lack of concern for formal and overtly prestigious settings. There was also a strong storytelling element in his work, and he was fascinated by folk art and culture, both of which struck a chord.
I became an executor of his will. Eventually I bought his old studio as a way of managing and protecting his legacy. After 14 years as a store for Dave’s work, we’re now transforming it, at 54 Manchester Road Haslingden, into our home. Between 2017 and 2020 Apna Rossendale had its base in the studio, and we will continue to maintain part of it as a gallery of Dave Pearson’s work.
I’m currently working with the Chinese puppet-maker and animator, Kain Leo, on a short film about Dave Pearson’s Calendar Customs work.
In 2022 work started on reshaping the old studio, converting it into a living space. The cellar is being converted into a Dave Pearson Gallery space. Further information about Dave Pearson go to www.dspearson.org, or visit the on-line gallery/shop at www.dspearsonshop.co.uk