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Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Transforming Tate Britain

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on August 27, 2010 at 10:50 am

Not content with adding a whole new wing to Tate Modern, Tate are now planning to undertake some major redevelopment work at their Millbank site. Tate Britain isn’t exactly shabby, but they’ve identified a number of key areas where they could do with updating or revisiting how the gallery works, especially in terms of visitors.

In an article on Museum [Insider] I’ve written up the details of what’s planned. They’re spending £45million on works in different parts of the building – so this is more a joined up project with lots of little projects combined into one. 9 galleries at the south end of the building will be redeveloped – and to be honest they need doing. The rotunda and entrance will be transformed and a new education entrance created. There will also be a new cafe – of course – and terrace, to cater for the growing numbers that have been visiting Tate Britain in recent years.

Planning permission for the project is granted and work is expected to start in early 2011. Watch this space for more….

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Listen to a Londoner

In new content, what i'm reading on August 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

I was interviewed a while back for an online project called the Little London Observationist. It’s a blog which looks at the ‘little things’ in London and helps us to appreciate the city we live in. It’s compiled by writer and photographer Stephanie Sadler, who describes herself as ‘just a girl in love with London life’. Her blog looks at art, books, fashion etc and features a regular column, Listen to a Londoner, which features an interview with a different Londoner each week, trying to gauge their reaction to London in ten questions.

As Stephanie says “Little London Observationist is all about giving other Londoners a voice rather than just plastering personal opinions on every post.”

And so she asked for my opinion as a writer. She asked me about museums, happiness and life in south London, all of which I’m very happy to talk about. The interview is available to read on the Little London Observationist website.

A portrait of Scotland

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on August 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Opened in 1899, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a magnificent example of Arts and Crafts architecture. But now, the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery is undergoing a £17.6 million refurbishment and redevelopment. The gallery is closed to the public and is due to reopen to the public in November 2011.

Behind-the-scenes photographs and information about the development of the project – including details of the redevelopment of the building, the works in progress, fundraising and ideas about interpretation – are available in a new article on Museum [Insider] today.

This piece is going into the next version of the new Museum [Insider] ebook, the second volume of which is published in early September.

Transformation for Belfast’s dockside

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on August 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

There’s a huge development project underway in East Belfast, transforming the dock area into a £7billion leisure and accomodation zone called the Titanic Quarter. And there’s going to be a new museum – all about the Titanic – at the heart of the development.

The Titanic Signature Building will contain a world-class visitor attraction telling the story of the history of the fated ship, but also of the ship-building industry in Belfast and the seafaring folk who herald from the city. Eric Kuhne & Associates have designed the new building, which will open to the public in March 2012.

There’s an in-depth article about the Titanic Signature Building live on Museum [Insider].

Interview with Veronica Ward

In Dulwich OnView, new content on August 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Last week I had the chance to interview Veronica Ward, the cabinet member on Southwark Council responsible for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics. The resulting article is live on Dulwich OnView today.

I asked the councillor about the swtich over from a Tory/Lib Dem council to a Labour administration (the opposite of the national political landscape) and her hopes for the future. It also turns out that she’s also passionate about the preservation of the velodrome at Herne Hill. And there’s news that the debate about what to do with the closed down Livesey Museum is still wide open. Do read the artcile and leave a comment if you feel strongly about either of the those issues.

This is the second political interview I’ve conducted for DOV. Last year I got to interview Ward’s predecessor Lewis Robinson, who is now out of a job in the cabinet after the change of power.