This year Dulwich Picture Gallery has a beautiful exhibition of watercolours by British watercolour artist, Eric Ravilious. We were invited to speak to James Russell, the exhibition curator, about the artist, his work and life. You can find out more in the videos we made here:
An incredibly beautiful and popular exhibition it runs until the end of August 2015 with additional linked events and programmes.
Last year we were lucky enough to work on a couple of projects related to Dulwich Picture Gallery‘s current temporary exhibition all about Canadian artist Emily Carr. We met with a couple of the curators, Sarah Milroy And James Hart. Carr’s paintings include many images from Haida villages after the Haida nation had been badly affected by small pox.
Carr’s interpretation of the Haida art work is not always accurate as she understands it from an outsider’s prespective, projecting her own interpretations onto these works. The exhibition shows off Carr’s wonderful art work and places them in conversation with historical Haida objects by displaying Haida artefacts along side her paintings, including some objects that were made by curator James Hart’s ancestors. Hart is a Haida hereditary chief and talks a little about the exhibition here:
We also noted that the show contains objects loaned by the Horniman Museum and we were pleasantly surprised to see Horniman curator, Robert Storrie, talking at the Emily Carr conference that we documented. The conference was incredibly busy and had a packed schedule of speakers all of whom had a great deal of interest to share about Emily Carr and/or her work and subject matter.
It has been a real privilege to have worked on this show with Dulwich Picture Gallery and gain an insight into this artist who is little known here in the UK but, as was evident at the conference, is a major figure in Canada. I would encourage anyone with an interest in art to check out Emily Carr but your chance to see this show is running out. You have a little over a month before the show ends on March 15th 2015:
Last year ended with a visit to one of our favourite places, Dulwich Picture Gallery, where we met the director, Ian Dejardin, who told us what was coming up at the gallery in 2015. We then met all the curators of the exciting exhibitions which you can hear about in the video below.
I am particularly interested in the Escher exhibition, being one of the many many students who was taken by his graphic mind bending imagery – I can’t wait to see the originals in the gallery. I’m sure there is something for everyone at the gallery this year including a very unique and interesting challenge…
Earlier this year we were commissioned to by Heritage Lottery Fund to capture an evening of events discussing the involvement of the Empire in the First World War. The event was to draw attention to their funding stream encouraging people to investigate how their community was involved in the war. It was a completely fascinating event and we met an exciting range of people including veterans from the West Indies, currently serving officers, actors, historians, authors and interested secondary students.
The contribution to the war effort by soldiers from India, Africa and the West Indies was not something that I was at all familiar with and the more we learned the more fascinating we realised this hidden story was. Simple facts like there were more Indian soldiers fighting in the war than White British Stories to individual stories of young black men rising through the ranks to lead troupes made me question how such fascinating and emotional stories could be missing from the narrative of the First World War. One veteran of the Second World War, Sam King, who was also the first black Mayor of Southwark, told us of one example where this was case for him:
Please watch this video and then research some the background to these stories and find out how the Great War really was a world effort, hopefully more stories will emerge thanks to this funding stream from the HLF.
As part of the review of their anthropology collections, the Horniman invited 32 lucky local people to engage creatively with some key objects from that collection. The Community Fieldworkers, as they were known, were given special access to the collections store and training on how to work with and consider the objects they would be responding to. They were then sent 18 postcards, each one showing a different object. From this stimulus they were asked to create, research, respond or tell a story based on at least one of the objects they felt a connection with.
All of these responses were gathered together for public display one afternoon in the Horniman’s pavilion building and we were invited along to record the work and chat to a small handful of the fieldworkers who contributed to the project. The work was very diverse and often very beautiful. The Community Fieldworkers had really risen to the challenge of engaging with the objects and everyone’s responses were so individual that I can only say I wish I had more time to really look through it all.
Nicola Scott was one of the coordinators of the project and tells us a little bit more about it here:
Then we heard from the fieldworkers who made pieces ranging from spoken word readings to Sculpture via collage and maps!
There was a wonderfully warm and community atmosphere as visitors, fieldworkers, friends and family investigated and documented the work for themselves.
The Horniman runs a very inclusive volunteer programme providing public facing activities and experiences for their visitors helping them to engage with the museum and garden collections. Engage in nature, it is also Engage in name. The Engage Programme was started five years ago in 2009 and to mark this anniversary we were invited to make a short film explaining the work that was shown as part of the celebrations at an Afternoon Tea in the Pavilion of the Horniman Gardens.
With so much to cover we had a packed day giving is a real insight to the variety of opportunities available to volunteers. We were able to see, not only how much the visitors get out of their interactions with the hard working volunteers, but how much the volunteers get back by speaking to former volunteers who are now employed – both at the museum and in other organisations.
Luckily we had really beautiful weather which really helped capture the feeling and atmosphere of this successful addition to a wonderful museum.