Blockbuster shows to launch Dundee V&A

The exhibitions include "Clown blue" costume worn by David Bowie. Picture: Getty
The exhibitions include "Clown blue" costume worn by David Bowie. Picture: Getty
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BLOCKBUSTER exhibitions on rock icon David Bowie, classic Hollywood costumes and fashion designer Alexander McQueen are being lined up for Dundee’s new V&A museum, the team behind the £80 million attraction has revealed.

All three are being planned for the first few years of the waterfront venue, which is expected to transform the city’s image after it opens in June 2018.

Designs by Alexander McQueen will also be on exhibit. Picture: Getty

Designs by Alexander McQueen will also be on exhibit. Picture: Getty

Project leaders say they hope to attract other world-class exhibitions from around the world due to the size of its two major exhibition spaces.

A creative industries event in Edinburgh also heard how the V&A’s high-profile shows will not be “diluted” from their hugely-successful runs in London when they come to Dundee.

The venue, expected to attract around 350,000 visitors a year, will also showcase centuries of architecture and design heritage in Scotland, the work of Scots working at the highest level around the work and the nation’s leading emerging talents.

Modern fashion designers to be featured include Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Faye MacLeod and Louise Gray. Other displays will be devoted to computer game designers such as Rockstar North, which emerged in Dundee, and Ian Callum, the Dumfriesshire-born design director of Jaguar.

They will not be diluted down in any way

Tara Wainwright

Work on the museum began in March, seven years after plans for the attraction were first revealed. A rescue package for the project – designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma – was agreed in January to meet a huge funding gap after the budget soared from £45 million.

However, city leaders believe the V&A museum and the waterfront regeneration will be Dundee’s equivalent of what the 1970s North Sea oil boom did for Aberdeen. Project bosses have predicted the attraction will also have a similar impact on Dundee as a Guggenheim gallery had on the Spanish city of Bilbao.

More than 310,000 people flocked to the initial 2013 run of the V&A’s Bowie exhibition –featuring more than 300 objects from his archives – with an international tour going to Brazil, Chicago, Paris and Melbourne.

Some 250,000 people flocked to the 2012 Hollywood costumes show, which included more than 100 outfits from the likes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind. The ongoing Alexander exhibition – which celebrates the legacy of one of Britain’s most influential designers, who died five years ago at the age of just 40 – is the biggest retrospective to be staged in Europe of his work.

Speaking at a Creative Edinburgh event, the Dundee V&A’s marketing manager Tara Wainwright said the major exhibition spaces were expected to be used for V&A shows for the first few years of the Dundee attraction, before other international exhibitions are introduced.

She added: “Our galleries have been designed so they’re large enough to take the largest of the touring V&A shows from London. At the moment when shows are on in London they very rarely go anywhere else in the UK as nowhere else is big enough. Our galleries will be the largest museum-standard exhibition spaces in the country.”