DCA refresh as city prepares for V&A-inspired travel boom

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One of Dundee’s most prominent art spaces has undergone a makeover, in preparation for another art museum’s opening.

Dundee Contemporary Arts has had a “refresh” in anticipation of the tens of thousands of visitors who will descend on the city over the coming month as the V&A museum of design opens its doors on September 15.

Large signage has been hand-painted by local craftspeople indicating what is inside the award-winning building on Nethergate, as well as a restructuring of the floors and toilet areas.

For the first time at DCA, a set of gender-neutral toilets have been prominently signposted for those who may not identify as male or female – although the main toilets on each floor are still categorised for male and female use.

Head of communications at DCA, Jessica Reid, said the feedback from the public to the “refresh” has been wholly positive.

She said: “On our lower ground floor, the disabled and baby changing facilities have always been available for use as gender neutral, but with the new signs we hope this can make this more obvious.

“There are going to be a lot of new visitors in the city over the coming weeks and we wanted to get the building looking its best.

“Our new signs on the Nethergate entrance were hand painted over a number of days by a local company and look really lovely, we are very happy with how it has turned out.

“We have changed the floor designations slightly, to try and make it easier to navigate, as well as introducing new signage on the inside.”

On Friday night, the art centre launched a new, double exhibition featuring artists Santiago Sierra and Mike Kelley – the first time their new work has appeared in Scotland.

Sierra, hailed as one of Spain’s most important living artists, will stage his solo exhibition in Gallery 1, which hopes among other things to make Dundonians re-evaluate the concept of Antarctic exploration and territory.

Eoin Dara, head of exhibitions at DCA, said: “In a year when the city around us is transforming more than ever before, these distinct exhibitions by two radical international artists each reflect on urgent ideas concerning citizenship, nationhood, ownership and agency within very different parts of the world.”