Aawen was recently approached by the National Maritime Museum at Falmouth to create a new community exhibition for the Porthleven Community Group. The exhibition deals with Porthlevens growth from a tiny hamlet to one of Cornwall’s largest villages, as well as the people who have been at the heart of this community. The display will be housed in the Balcony Gallery of the Maritime Museum (NMMC).

This project proved to be a particularly challenging space in which to design, with its elongated ‘L’ shaped layout. Visitors are required to read the exhibition firstly from right to left, then half way through swap over and read the boards from left to right. We therefore needed to create a system which simulatiously helped guide the viewer through the display whilst integrating seamlessly within the boards.

Porthleven Exhibition flow map at the Maritime Museum Balcony Gallery

From rough text and images (supplied by the Porthleven Community Group), Aawen was able to research and add to the Porthleven story, copywriting the whole into a seamless and engaging narrative, which sits neatly into this mini exhibition. We also received a timeline of events which proved to be the unifying glue for the display. Using the consecutive dates running along the base of each board we were able to lead the viewer from board to board in the correct sequence. The design uses a rope motif at the base of each board to separate the main text at the top from the timeline below. Combined with the use of a repeating palette of muted background colours these elements unite the whole set of boards.

Examples of panels in exhibition


Porthleven Exhibition Intro Panel at the Maritime Museum Balcony Gallery
Porthleven Exhibition Panel at the Maritime Museum Balcony Gallery
Porthleven Exhibition Panel at the NMMC Balcony Gallery

Final production of the panels was handled by Aawen; the exhibition was then supplied to the Museum for them to hang. A subsequent set of boards was also supplied with the timeline altered on the relevant panels to ensure the complete set would read from left to right. This will allow the Porthleven Museum to easily display the boards at a future date without having to recreate the layout of the Balcony Gallery.

The exhibition will be available to view at the Museums Balcony Gallery from the beginning of September.

Aawen has subsequently helped set up several smaller exhibitions in the NMMC, and looks forward to assisting the museum put on more community exhibitions when the opportunity arises.