London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is home to a collection that spans a vast history of art, design, and performance. From one room to the next, visitors can stumble on everything from Michaelangelo’s David, to artworks by Kehinde Wiley, to Grayson Perry’s Brexit-themed vases and pieces from Virgil Abloh’s collaborations with Ikea. What joins all this work together, the museum suggests in a new film, is a mutual love of creativity.
Titled Creativity: It’s What Makes Us, the two-minute short film is directed by filmmaker Georgia Hudson and shot by Nocturnal Animalscinematographer Seamus McGarvey. Opening with spooky night at the museum vibes, the visuals follow a mannequin that comes to life to take a paranormal tour of the collection, taking in clothes, jewellery, photography, sculpture, and more.
In a celebration of the museum’s historic South Kensington site, the animated dummy also links up with other dancers to perform original choreography by dancer Max Cookward (who plays the mannequin) in collaboration with Magnus Westwell.
“It was an honour to create this journey, assimilating the energy of the museum and metabolising its creative heritage into something unique and reflective of a physical re-wilding, a return to freedom,” says Hudson. “All things can become new things.”
Hudson also enlisted north London musician Fredwave to compose a frenetic, shapeshifting original soundtrack to accompany the dancers. It is “inspired by the heart of the film – freedom and creativity,” says Hudson. “It is that which keeps us moving forwards. Artists have always alchemised the collective circumstance and challenges – creating opportunity for reflection, inspiration and change.”
For the V&A, the short film also marks the start of a new era, which will see it expand to three new London locations in the next three years, on top of its sites in south Kensington, Dundee, and Stoke-on-Trent. Tomorrow night (April 29) meanwhile, Fredwave is set to perform a set alongside dancers from the film, at the V&A’s Friday Late: Freedom of Movement.
In the meantime, you can watch Creativity: It’s What Makes Us below.