“If you build it… they will come.”
That was my promise to big Kengo Kuma and Philip Long the first time we ‘met’. Truth be told, it was not a meeting as such, more a case of me knocking them on to their artistic bahookies, as I skated past them on Dundee’s waterfront. Result!
When I yelled back, “Why the ‘Long’-face, dude?” at the mud-splattered museum director I reckoned I’d guaranteed that I was barred for life, before the first brick had even been laid. Bothered. Things like the V&A weren’t for me, or for Dundee for that matter. Or so I thought.
When I said “they will come” I was only talking about The Bash Street Kids on a cheap school trip, so I was bugged when I heard loadsa’ money was being lashed out on building it. I began to think about all the other things £80m of investment could bring to Dundee. A gigantic, gold Dennis the Redeemer statue on the Law Hill was my top choice.
Dad was more pragmatic. Boring! He said the money would be better spent signing Cristiano Ronaldo to get United promoted so the city could enjoy a derby match again.
I feared a venue packed with old stuff, just hanging around. Like a parents’ evening. Not cool
Mum said we were both being silly and that V&A Dundee was designed to make folks feel they all belonged there. Like they are inside a giant living room. Eh?! Full of cracked vases? A carpet covered in Irn-Bru stains? I feared a venue packed with old stuff, just hanging around.Like a parents’ evening. Not cool. Then I saw the building taking shape and I started to wish I wasn’t banned. I thought it looked like a spaceship. Like Jabba the Hutt had docked on an all-inclusive cruise! I couldn’t blame anyone from any galaxy for visiting Dundee.