V&A Dundee

Making V&A Dundee: In Lockdown

Working during the pandemic has been a struggle for so many. While some have found new hobbies, others have rediscovered old ones to keep them busy. When our museum was closed, the only staff allowed in the building were our security team. We spoke to Neil, one of our security guards to tell us more about how he kept himself occupied during this unprecedented time and kept the team in touch with the museum.

Written by: Neil McFarlane

I've worked at the museum since May 2018 as a Security Controller and my role is to keep the building, its contents, and the people within it safe.

During lockdown there were only two Security staff in during the day. As there were no V&A Dundee staff on site, I thought it would be a nice idea to keep them updated with images of the building, reassuring them that the museum was waiting for them to return. I started up what I called ‘Foto Friday’ where I took a few pictures each week and sent them to all staff.

These pictures document what it was like during the year-long lockdown, give or take a couple of months.

A black and white image of V&A Dundee.
An image of V&A Dundee, in the background buildings can be seen and their reflections in the water surrounding the museum.
An image overlooking the River Tay as the sun is setting.
  • Black and white image of the museum

  • Reflection in the ponds

  • The sun setting behind the museum

Although I started taking these photos to update staff, I have a love for photography and the joy it brings people. I was overwhelmed by the reaction and didn’t expect it to be so popular. This encouraged me to keep at it and I'm still doing it to this day, as the majority of our staff are still working from home.

A cold, snowy day has turned the ponds to ice.
A wide shot of V&A Dundee, snow is covered the ground, seating and building.
  • The ponds around the museum turned to ice!

  • Snow day at the museum

My passion for photography started when I got my first camera, a Polaroid Sun 600, for my 12th birthday. Since then I have loved taking photos of the things I find interesting. I'm chuffed that my images are now available for others to enjoy too.