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.
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…
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.