SWISS COTTAGE AT OSBORNE HOUSE
CLIENT : ENGLISH HERITAGE
Our brief was for a four-room exhibition at Osborne’s Swiss Cottage, plus two outdoor trails covering the Royal children’s garden plots and the ‘Rhododendron Walk’ to the nearby beach. We developed an approach for the exhibition which introduced each child via an original illustrated mural telling the story of some key aspect of their personality, plus a series of photographs or family sketches of them, and an interactive; this combination included brought archive content into the display as well as varied and engaging exhibits.
Interactives are based on simple Victorian toys such as a jigsaw, theatre, zoetrope, anamorphosis or mutoscope. Each exhibit tells a story from the archives presenting the children‘s artwork or their adventures at Osborne in their own words - drawing on letters and journals. Interpretation also threads through the dressed rooms via printed artefacts hidden in the displays. We commissioned extensive new illustrations from artist Chichi Parish. to deliver the desired quirky feel, including the illustration of a character, ‘K’, a chihuahua (referred to in the archive). K features in a trail for under 5s running through the exhibition and out into the gardens, where finding a sleeping, sculpted ‘K’ is the goal. K can be moved by the team, varying the trail for repeat visitors. Wooden wildlife carvings complete an enchanting trail to the beach, making for a fabulous family day out.