National Maritime Museum
JMW Turner’s The Battle of Trafalgar, 1805
Completed April 2015
Exhibition budget £60K

In 2014 we were commissioned to reinterpret a national treasure, JMW Turner’s Battle of Trafalgar, which was given its own dedicated gallery for permanent display. The scope of work included interpretation design and audio-visual design.

Our approach to the interpretation reflected the two voices or themes of the painting: firstly, the story of the battle and secondly, the other the symbolism with which Turner imbued the painting to show how the Battle of Trafalgar was intrinsic to the construction of a new sense Britishness.

These two themes are explored by two curators, who explain these two thematic thought processes. This is experienced as a curated audioscape and supported by a showcase of objects representing each theme. These objects provide the starting point for the graphic design. The painting is contextualised within the introductory space by the inclusion of other naval-themed paintings from when the painting hung in the National Gallery of Naval Art.

battle of trafalgar

battle of trafalgar

battle of trafalgar

battle of trafalgar

battle of trafalgar

battle of trafalgar