NMA Exhibition Displays 1

Using state-of-the-art technology and hands-on interactive exhibitions, the National Museum of Australia allows visitors to experience for themselves the many stories that make Australia what it is today. Screenmakers have been involved in creating a myriad of displays and exhibitions in the museum since it opened in March 2001.

The First Australians exhibition introduces the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This display (figs 1, 2 and 3), from the large-scale images to smaller captions, was created entirely by Screenmakers. The artwork was supplied by the museum, then printed, laminated and applied to MDF panels with wrapped edges. With the cabinet-mounted display (fig 4), the panels were cut to size and digitally printed before the museum team added the artefacts. Screenmakers installed this exhibition on site, suspending selected panels on cables to add visual interest.

Fig 1: First Australians
Fig 2: A variety of sizes and mountings
Fig 3: Cabinet-mounted display
Fig 4: Natures of Isolation
Fig 5: Floating effect
Fig 6: Fire wall
Fig 7: Torres Strait Islanders canoe
Fig 8: Rotating images

The back panel for the Natures of Isolation display (fig 4) is a vinyl print on MDF, with the front panel screen-printed on metal.

All the panels for the "This Black Soldier" memorial (fig 5) were made from MDF with wrapped edges and sandtex-coated with stand-offs to give a 3D, floating effect.

The burning landscape image (fig 6), was directly applied to the plasterboard wall, working carefully around the large access door and telephone. The entire wall was then coated in sandtex for a long-lasting, clear result.

A particularly striking exhibit is the Kulbasaibai (fig 7), a double outrigger canoe from Saibai Island in the Torres Strait. Screenmakers created the 6m x 2.4m image behind the canoe from MDF panels. Wrapped edges cleverly conceal any joins so it appears to be one large panel.

Positioned at the back of the tri-vision screen (fig 8), are graphics digitally printed on vinyl and coated in a semi-matt laminate. To create the rotating screen of three images, each image was adhered and then trimmed individually. The museum uses the screen to show images projected on to angled glass.