Design of the summer exhibition at National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh – the largest exhibition ever staged on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. For centuries Mary Stuart (1542-87), has proved an enigma – a tragic romantic figure whose story arouses strong emotions. Was she betrayed by those she trusted, condemned to die a Catholic martyr or a scheming murderess with blood on her hands? Exploring the myth and reality surrounding her story, the exhibition brought together a fascinating collection of paintings, jewellery, furniture, maps and documents and included a specially commissioned animation, based on forensic analysis, showing how Mary may have looked during her time in Scotland.
Our work involved exhibition space planning, concepts, 3D exhibition design, case layouts, graphic design, typography, wallpapers and lighting design. A back-illuminated life and death line of the queen, wrapped around the exhibition providing a chronology to the iconic queen’s life. Dramatic lighting effects, film and gobo projections added a sense of drama to the space. The exhibition plan took visitors on a journey through the space with a central circular display focusing on Mary as Prime Suspect. From there visitors followed the queen’s story through her flight to England, imprisonment by the cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, to her final execution and her legacy today.
The Drum Scottish Design Awards 2014
Use of portraits to create dramatic interludes and signify the different themes; an illuminated lifeline ran throughout the exhibition to provide context to Mary’s story.
Magnificent . . . If exhibitions could win the Booker, this would scoop it.
“An outstanding, insightful
and at times moving exhibition”
“This is a beautiful, fantastic
and lavish lesson in history”
Edinburgh Evening News
At the heart of the exhibition is the Prime Suspect display which tells the story of the murder of Darnley with the surrounding cases presenting evidence relating to Mary and Darnley’s relationship.