Have D&G gone too far this time?

Friday, October 01, 2010 by Ivor Dickinson

Douglas & Gordon have for the past three years given over their Harrington Road office in South Kensington to up and coming artists because of its prominent location.

The two most recent installations have been a beautiful interpretation of the famous blue plaques in the surrounding area by Shaz Madani and most recently, a series of dinosaur themed windows by Jake Blanchard.

In the words of Monty Python “and now for something completely different!” Douglas & Gordon’s Managing Director, Ivor Dickinson, has had the entire premises painted in D&G blue from top to bottom and thousands of metallic circles have been stuck to the outside. On close examination, they don’t really make sense, apart from being rather intriguing. However, viewed from a distance, suddenly it all makes sense. The silver spell out the slightly inflammatory words “Kill All Negative People”!

An explanation is probably required.

Ivor Dickinson states: “At this year’s D&G Spring Conference, our guest speaker was Tim Smit OBE who masterminded the Eden Project. Tim’s talk was incredibly inspiring but there were four words which all of us at D&G really took to our hearts and that is when Tim said that his mantra at the Eden Project was “Kill All Negative People”. I so empathised with this statement because let’s face it, there is no room for negativity in this world that we live in, that I decided to adopt it at D&G. The time had come to replace Jake’s dinosaur piece in Harrington Road and I thought what better place to spread the word than one of London’s busiest junctions, opposite South Kensington tube station. I went to watch the installation being installed and was thrilled by the public’s reaction. As I first envisaged, their immediate response is to try and work out what is going on with all the silver discs. They then realise that perhaps it’s spelling out a phrase but can’t quite work out what it is. I watched people stepping back and eventually crossing the road and voila, all is revealed. This is normally followed by a snigger or cries of “right on” or “yeah”. Perfect - a message which seems to strike a chord and an intriguing piece of art to amuse the people of South Kensington”.

Sadly, this might be D&G’s last installation at Harrington Road as they plan to open a letting office there in the New Year. It will be very sad to see this extraordinary South Kensington landmark return to its original purpose. But we should just be grateful for D&G’s generosity over the past three years in bringing a smile to our faces when driving or walking through this part of London.