Recently I came across a most unusual program on the BBC4 channel. The title of the program was “To Byzantium” and it featured the art of the late artist Dave Pearson. I was intrigued for several reasons. I was familiar with the poem, “Sailing to Byzantium” by my favorite poet, WB Yeats. The theme of the poem was a profound one, the journey we must all make into old age and death. Pearson’s art was also tantalizingly probing of the same theme. I gradually realized that it had a most unusual quality: he could take ideas and convert them into pictures capable of stimulating the viewer at the deepest level. He saw things that we don't see -- at least in a way that he was capable of perceiving. I thought this an astonishing ability.
I ran a major art gallery for nine years and few of the living artists I met, perhaps with the exception of Endre Roder, could achieve this at such a deep level. I was also inspired because one of Pearson’s themes was the mythological One Tree – also known as the Tree of Life – which featured in my fantasy series, The Snowmelt River, The Tower of Bones and the subsequent two books currently in process of being written. I visited the artists studio, which has been renovated and made into a display area by the “Dave Pearson Trust”, a collective of artists and creative people who were so impressed by Pearson’s work that they are championing his reputation, and arranging international exhibitions (London, New York, etc).
You can discover more at http://www.dspearson.org/ and about the fantasy series at www.frankpryan.com
In particular people interested in Pearson's work can order a book (£10) or a wonderful DVD from the Pearson trust, which illustrates Pearson's life and paintings quite vividly and is based on the BBC4 programme.