MACHINE AGE: London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery marked its 200th anniversary with a party where Florence & The Machine performed for guests including Stephen Jones, Susie Cave, Nicole Farhi, Laura Bailey and Alison Jackson.
The gallery also used the milestone to tap emerging Camberwell architects IF_DO, the London Festival of Architecture and Almacantar to create the first Dulwich summer pavilion, a temporary structure.
“It is such a poetic and lyrical building,” said Jennifer Scott, Sackler director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, describing the boxy structured made from mirrored panels that can be moved around. The mirrors also reflect Dulwich garden and the gallery.
“It respects the great architecture of the past. But, in particular, the use of mirrors and the title of the work, ‘After Image’ tie in with the theme of memory. The mirrors allow us to see the building through its reflection and reminds people that we are a real destination for great art.”
Florence Welch, dressed in a red chiffon floral, vintage Yves Saint Laurent dress, performed “Ship to Wreck,” “Dog Days are Over” and “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.”
Evelyn Welch, the musician’s mother and chair of Dulwich Picture Gallery’s trustees, said this was the only performance that Florence was doing this year. “We kept it really, really low-key,” she said.
The singer encouraged the guests “to put their phones in their pocket” and embrace the summer party in the moment. She also recalled her memories of the gallery, and how she has “plundered the art world” for her lyrics. Her song “Dog Days are Over” was inspired by Ugo Rondinone’s sign of the same name.
Stephen Jones wore a creamy white beret and a pinstripe Thom Browne suit and carried a red Comme des Garçons messenger bag. “It is the oldest gallery in the U.K. I think it is really beautiful and magical. It’s perfect.
“Being a hatmaker, you’re always working against gravity, and the [architects] work against gravity, too, but in the most magical way. It is the right size and it’s really light and delicate,” he said of the pavilion.
In few weeks’ time, Jones will be showcasing his collaborations with Gosha Rubchinskiy and Dior at the Paris Couture.