As a Senior Lecturer I am part of a very dedicated Foundation staff team, and am also Admissions Tutor.
The Foundation course is a fresh, intense, hands-on experience of what Art & Design can mean, and we encourage each student to discover their own path. This is liberating, and it's a privilege to accompany talented, bright young artists as they develop their own unique creative potential on an exciting journey that will never be forgotten.
I'm at heart a painter, but much of my recent work has been based around archiving, photography, and in particular has been in relation to the work of British artist Dave Pearson (1937-2008).
Following extensive research necessary to put into order Pearson's illustrations of the Book of Revelation, I have also become interested in eschatology and millennial thinking, viewed from diverse perspectives.
I have lectured at Manchester Metropolitan University since 1991, teaching on BA Modern Studies, BA Independent Studies, the Diploma in Higher Education, MA Fine Art and the Foundation course in Art and Design. For the last few years I have been Senior Lecturer and Admissions Tutor exclusively on Foundation, which is one of the most successful courses of its type in the country, receiving ‘Outstanding’ inspection reports when assessed by Ofsted, and which students often tell me, sometimes years later, has been one of the most inspirational and pivotal years of their life.
2008 – 2015
After the artist’s death in July 2008, a colleague, Bob Frith, and I, with the artist's son Chris Pearson, set up the Dave Pearson Trust in an attempt to preserve and promote his enormous output of around 20,000 pieces of work. This work is ongoing, involving accurately photographing, measuring, documenting and - now with the great help of Ella Cole - cataloguing each piece of work; restoring damaged work, collating series and creating suitable archives, providing art historians and curators with photographic and textual documentation and curating and documenting frequent exhibitions.
Creation by the Trust of a website: http://www.dspearson.org/
Filmmaker Derek Smith directed a film about the artist and about the work of the Trust, which may be seen here: http://vimeo.com/36838685
I acted as Associate Producer, providing a script and photographic stills, arranged interviews and helped maintain factual accuracy. The film has been broadcast many times on the Community Channel on UK TV, and was one of two Finalists in the 2012 New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards®
With renowned UK art historian Edward Lucie-Smith I co-curated an ambitious multi-sensory exhibition in a 7,000sq feet space in Bermondsey in London. On a popular TV magazine programme with a viewing audience of 4,000,000, Edward Lucie-Smith compared Dave Pearson to William Blake.
I put together a 62 page quarto catalogue of the exhibition with essays by Edward Lucie-Smith, author David MacLagan and myself; it is also an iBook:
Dave Pearson had bequeathed to me the 284 illustrations he made about the last book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation. Pearson was not a religious man but was inspired by the poetry of the text. It was necessary to photograph each of the illustrations and then, as they had been stored out of order, set about trying to align each with the Biblical text.
On 29-31 Aug 2013 I made a presentation of Dave Pearson’s Revelation series at the British New Testament Conference in St. Andrews in Scotland, which was very well received, though at this time the series was not yet in the correct order. I had the benefit of the Biblical scholars’ knowledge in identifying a number of key illustrations in relation to the text, and following further research I'm now confident the series are in the correct order. The abstract for the presentation is viewable here:
Production of a website about Dave Pearson’s Book of Revelation series of illustrations:
The Book of Revelation is very complex and it has been necessary to do a great deal of research into the text in order to familiarise myself with the narrative, which broadened my interests in a number of directions. For instance, last year I researched the Rylands Beatus c1175 CE, one of the 26 illuminated manuscripts which exist worldwide illustrating the Commentary on the Apocalypse of Beatus of Liebana, the 8th Century Spanish monk and theologian, and building on research made by scholar Peter Klein in 1990, aligned in a document the illustrations with the English translation of the Latin commentary on the Biblical text. This was used in connection with a visit I arranged for international scholars of the Book of Revelation to see the original codex in the John Rylands Library in September 2014.
In April I presented an AV presentation of Dave Pearson’s Book of Revelation series at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and at other locations, both to students of art and to artists, in Beijing.
I have been invited to present papers at the APOC4 Millenarianism and Surviving the Destruction of Humanity Conference at Mansfield College Oxford, in August, and at the British New Testament Society Conference at Edinburgh University in September
Research interests - keywords
The visualisation of the Book of Revelation throughout the History of Art;
Eschatology in the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam; eschatology & apocalyptic thinking in Japan & China, present day & in history;
Diverse contexts of apocalyptic ideas – historical, cultural, artistic, literary, political, gendered (feminist perpectives)
Contemporary apocalyptic thought in film, journalism, evangelism in the US and globally; in science fiction, fantasy literature, video games;
21st century apocalyptic scenarios – disease, ebola, SARS, environmental, humanitarian, global warming, water/air pollution, (Chinese ‘airpocalypse’) depletion of resources relative to population growth, nuclear threat, religious terrorism, suicidal religious terrorism, disaster capitalism
Endings – personal, individual, human, in psychology, psychopathology, philosophy
Margaret Mytton is a member of the Art Research Group.