Samuel Pepys ~ Plague Fire Revolution exhibition

  • Cathy Carr
This was my first Major exhibition at the National Maritime Museum. The 900sq meter NEW exhibition space! so a very exciting + challenging project for me!
I was involved with choosing the colour scheme + we ended up with a very simple but beautiful ‘colour palette’ that transformed the exhibition space + worked really with the complex narrative.
Then came the pattern/wallpaper developement. This was an important part of the design, as it also acted as part of the narrative running through all the ‘Pepys zones’ . After much research on patterns of the era (materials, tiles, ceramics etc), I worked up a detailed pattern that worked zoomed out + zoomed in, as this indicated Pepys growing wealth + fame . I worked with the retail department + we implemented the design on many of the ‘Exhibition shop’ products.
The design + typography had to take on a very clean and contemporary feel for it to work. Everything paired back to its simplist form... type. This complimented the simple, and clean architectual design of the build,
I worked very closely with the 3D designer from the onset of this project, to ensure that the 2D + 3D complimented each other and worked clearly as a ‘communication’ tool throughout.
A major part of the narrative,was to introduce the ‘Pepys zones’ which represented his personal and private life, alongside the main Pepys zones. We did a lot of research before the final plan was decided...This was made up of exteriors and interiors (Zones). The stark white and charcoal areas represented the major events events that were happening in the world at the time, the bloody execution of a king in 1649, the Great Fire of London etc, juxtaposed with Pepys personal and private life. These were depicted by a nude colour that represented the human/personal element.
The Samuel Pepys exhibition was shortlisted (temporary or touring exhibitions category) in the Museum + Heritage Awards 2017!

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