My dream for 2011 – by Kate Knowles, Head of Communications at Dulwich Picture Gallery
I am putting on my thinking cap to try to make Dulwich Picture Galley the most famous art gallery in the world.
Why? Dulwich PG is England’s oldest public and purpose built art gallery, designed by Sir John Soane in 1811. Our 200th anniversary is exactly a year away. It’s a great deal more famous than when I arrived 17 years ago, but it still isn’t as famous as The Louvre, or the Met in New York but if anyone can come up with some ideas, I’d be very very grateful.
A while ago I got in touch with Royal Mail Stamps & Collectibles and asked them to consider making a stamp with the Gallery on it and its 200th anniversary. They are having the meeting about it in February.
The next thing was to talk to the BBC – and Sky Arts – about making a documentary, or better still a series of documentaries, about the Gallery to transmit in 2011.
I wrote to Andrew Lloyd Webber asking him to write a musical about the Gallery, as it’s got a fascinating history: the collection originally being the Royal Collection of Poland, but, oh dear, he said he was too busy.
So instead I invited a best-selling thriller write, Peter James, who writes police thrillers and also very spooky stories, to come to the Gallery and I showed him the Mausoleum. He instantly said it would be in his next book. He loved the spookiness of the Mausoleum.
A neighbour of mine works for a video game company, so I invited him down and he brought his colleagues and they said they would invent a video game (a sort of interactive jigsaw puzzle) with some of our paintings – but then, after we’d all got very excited – they said they didn’t have enough money to do it. So annoying.
I met Nick Park who writes and draws Wallace & Gromit and asked him whether he’d like to set a scene in Dulwich… he says he’s never been to the Gallery (lives in Bristol) and doesn’t think it would fit with what Wallace & Gromit do – but he said he’d come and see. It also takes him 4 years to write and draw the pictures for the Wallace and Gromit films, so this isn’t going to make 2011.
Another idea… asking Tracey Emin and or Damien Hirst to be our artist in residence for two weeks in 2011.
I thought of asking Banksy to cover the gallery in graffiti. I know if it works I’ll be fired, but what the hell….
Kate Knowles, Head of Communications
Write your ideas in the comment box below.
Photo thanks to matteosensei.