Dulwich Picture Gallery: 2016

Towards the end of 2015, we went back to the wonderful Dulwich Picture Gallery to prepare their 2016 preview video. It’s always exciting to hear what is going to be coming into the gallery each year, and this year is no different.

We spoke to curators Ian Dejardin and Xavier Bray about major exhibitions by artists such as Nikolai Astrup, Winifred Knights and Adriaen van de Velde. Dr Bray then also told us about temporary displays in the main gallery including an installation by contemporary artist Mark Wallinger being shown alongside van Dyck’s self portrait, revealing X-Ray images and reuniting works by Dou that haven’t been seen together since they were exhibited in 1665.

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Dulwich Picture Gallery: Visual to Vocal 2015

For several years, we have documented Dulwich Picture Gallery‘s community work, particularly the Visual to Vocal programme. This is run in partnership with English Touring Opera and works with people living with dementia and their carers to write an opera with young students from Dulwich College all inspired by the gallery’s unique collection.

This year we had the extra pleasure of visiting Eve, one of the participants, along with her family at home to hear about the benefits that working on the Visual to Vocal project has had not only for Eve, but for everyone involved. It was very generous of the family to invite us into their home so we were able to get an intimate portrait for this film.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s touch us all. Anything that can help support those living with and caring for people with these diseases should be encouraged and celebrated.

Dulwich Picture Gallery: 2015 Exhibitions Preview

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…

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Visual to Vocal

We recently captured a wonderful performance at Dulwich Picture Gallery that was the culmination of eight weeks work by the twenty strong group of singers and composers.

This interesting group of singers and songwriters were brought together through a collaboration by Dulwich Picture Gallery and English Touring Opera. Inspired by an ETO programme called Turtle Song, the Gallery brought together a group of dementia patients and their carers for a second year. The group were joined by a number of professional musicians and some students from Dulwich College. Together the whole group wrote lyrics and songs inspired by the stunning collection at the Gallery. Watch our video documenting the process to find out more:

This was a particularly moving performance for me as my grandfather suffers from alzheimers and there was a lovely couple involved who reminded me of my grandparents, only, in their case, it is the woman who has dementia. It was so inspiring to watch all of the group sing together and know that dementia was not part of the performance or the process; something to accommodate and understand but never the focus. The focus was on creativity and making something as a group in the present. The final pieces were wonderful and I am still singing some of the songs weeks after the final performance.

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Hockney Printmaker

The Dulwich Picture Gallery opened a new special exhibition this week: Hockney Printmaker and invited us along to the press launch to meet the curator of the exhibition, and Head of Prints and Multiples for Christie’s New York, Richard Lloyd.

Hockney_Self_Portrait

We have made a series of five short and digestible videos covering some key elements of this beautifully crafted exhibition. The first video covers one of David Hockney’s earliest print series: The Rake’s Progress, which you can hear more about in this video:

The next four videos will be released throughout the exhibition, which closes on 11 May 2014.

Dulwich Picture Gallery: Let the Dance Begin!

We are currently embarking on an exciting project with Dulwich Picture Gallery. DPG have initiated an intergenerational dance project working with Rambert, The Blackfriar Settlement and Salmon Youth Centre.

Dulwich Picture Gallery
Dulwich Picture Gallery

The project involves a group of older people from Blackfriars and a group of young people from Salmon learning a piece of dance repertory with Rambert animateurs.

The first part of the project was a welcome day for everyone at DPG for all the participants to meet and mingle because, for the majority of the project, the groups will learn the dance separately so they can move at their own pace. The day began with some lunch and then everyone got up and started moving around, saying hello to one another and playing some ice breaker games which culminated in getting into pairs and discussing families. Then sharing what had been learned about each other’s families with the whole group.

The participants took a very quick break before starting to look at some of the repotory that Rambert will be working on with them throughout the project. It was a really lively section of dance so it was great that the older people were able to dip in and out of the dance but also very encouraging to see how determined some were to get through the whole routine… and some just danced to their own rhythm – which was amazing!

Some of the Workshop Moves
Some of the Workshop Moves

Then the participants split into two mixed age groups and went on a tour of the Gallery where they learnt about the the Linbury Family through a number of portraits that are some of the first to greet you as you enter the gallery. The Linbury Sisters is a Gainsborough painting and, for me, one of the most iconic images from the gallery and certainly the image I tend to think of when I think of the gallery.

The Linley Family
The Linley Family

Then we looked at Le Triomphe de David, depicting David’s victory over Goliath.

The Triumph of David
The Triumph of David

We didn’t just look at these pics but had a wonderful guided tour from Phillipa who really encouraged the participants to explore and investigate even the most secondary characters in these images; exploring the body shapes, relationships, drama, dance and family relationships that they revealed.

Phillipa gives some of the group a tour of the Gallery
Phillipa gives some of the group a tour of the Gallery

After the tour we chatted, on camera, to some very enthusiastic participants, older people and children, who were very excited to be part of a new way of investigating the Gallery’s collection. Maureen, a regular visitor to DPG, was very familiar with the Gallery and had previously danced with an African dance troupe in Peckham. Young Miracle had visited the Gallery with her school and then brought her mother back with her to visit the gallery before joining this project for another chance to spend time in the gallery and work with its historic collection.

I also spoke to Liz, a retired professional tap dancer, who, despite having problems with her knees, was enthusiastic and very inspirational; absolutely ready to give it all a go!

It was a packed afternoon all finished off with tea and cakes where I got to chat to some of the children who really enjoyed the gift shop. I also spoke with Jeanie, who had been a Ballroom enthusiast in her younger days, as well as rock n roll Aidan, who I had seen dancing to his own beat earlier in the workshop!

We were made to really feel part of the team working on this project with Blackfriar Settlement, Salmon Youth Centre, Megan Taylor – our great photography mate, Rambert and of course the lynch pins, Michelle and Aimee, from Dulwich Picture Gallery. We’re really looking forward to joining the groups at their rehearsals which start next week.