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.
Every summer, the Horniman hosts a large outdoor event and, for the second year, we were invited to capture the community coming together in Forest Hill. This yeah, Africa was the theme for the whole of the summer in the museum and gardens inspired by their incredible African collections. Africarnival was the culmination of all the events and activities that had happened before it.
We were really struck by the scale of the event and the incredible atmosphere across the gardens as audiences watched acrobats, danced to live bands, paraded in the carnival, took dance workshops, ate Ghanian street foods and generally smiled from ear to ear. It was truly joyous to share in the experience with such a diverse crowd that could only be found in London.
We were invited to film some introductory videos to the latest blockbuster exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery focussing on renowned artist MC Escher. In the first of the four videos, Ian Dejardin, the director of the Gallery, says that most people had an Escher on their wall at university and I was no exception. I can remember collecting Escher books and images in my teens and it was a real treat to see these iconic pieces in person. This exhibition is fantastic and, incredibly, the first for this artist in the UK.
This is the first of four videos examining some key pieces from the exhibition:
The Horniman completed their on going project to review their collections earlier this year and we were invited to capture elements of their final theme, War and Peacemaking. We worked closely with curator Tom Crowley to film a number of incredible objects from the store and were introduced to contemporary cultural practice and art pieces that are directly linked to these objects. It was a revelation to hear how seriously museum professionals take the display of weaponry and indeed how loosely the the understanding of what makes a weapon may be in some cultures. There were a great many messages, ideas and events to capture for this film and yet we still only feel like we were scratching the surface of this complex topic.
I would encourage you to watch the film and leave your comments or visit the Horniman’s website for more information.
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.
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:
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…
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.