A WONDERFUL VISIT Saturday 14th September.
Having recently seen many splendid images and read stories relating to the new V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first Design Museum and taking the excellent advice of Nicholas (Coleridge) we jumped in the car and drove the 3 hour journey down form the Highlands to Dundee, to visit the museum on its opening weekend.
First impressions: The Building
Although smaller in size than we imagined from the photographs we’d viewed, it’s an amazing design. Perfect for the location (built on reclaimed land) and blending in beautifully on the Esplanade on the banks of The Forth of Tay. The inside is voluminous! When you enter you can stand on the ground floor and look straight up to the ceiling. We were served delicious food from the cafe, by very friendly staff. All the staff we encountered throughout the museum were extremely friendly and helpful.
Because we’d made a ‘spare of the moment’ decision to visit we hadn’t booked to see the main exhibition Ocean Liners Speed & Style and as it was very busy we decided to focus on the rest of the museum (we’ll save Ocean Liners for a return visit). However, the people who we spoke to who had seen the exhibition all though it was fantastic!
The exhibitions on display in The Scottish Design Galleries within the museum were very good. These galleries have been designed in a similar style/layout to the fabulous V&A McQueen Exhibition ‘Savage Beauty’ 2015. Our favourite display was the giant, stage set book ’The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil’ created by the artist John Byrne, a friend and former neighbour. We spent a reasonable time going round these galleries to get a proper feeling for the exhibition and what it represented. We then had a quick celebration drink in The Tatha Bar on the first level, before taking more photos.
There are many excellent features to recommend the V&A Dundee. But without doubt one of the most striking features is the building itself, with its stunning design from both the outside and inside, including the impressive viewing terraces: The Observatory, Exhibition and Cafe terraces.
We have only two comments/ issues to make and both of these are related to the exhibitions:
1/ Part of McQueen’s ‘Savage Beauty’ Exhibition, ‘Widows of Culloden’ is one of the exhibits and although it’s ingeniously displayed, it is however very difficult to view - we tried several angles, with no success. It’s also worth noting we weren’t the only people to comment on this.
2/ The V&A Dundee needs more exhibits. In our opinion ( again we heard this observation voiced numerous times by other visitors ) there just isn’t enough. Despite the fact there is space to exhibit more. We shall see……….
Taking everything into account, we had a splendid time and will definitely visit again.
Christine and Alastair