Drinkall Dean have designed Sherlock Holmes, the latest major exhibition at the Museum of London. We have created a contemporary environment which explores the many interpretations of Sherlock Holmes and his London.

The brief required an engaging and thought provoking approach, one that will transport the visitor into the many worlds, styles, and personalities of this complex character. Our environment had to enhance the quirkiness of the character of Sherlock Holmes, and include some hidden messages that keen fans should be able to recognise. We set out to create an environment in which the visitor can ‘lose’ themselves. It is a contemporary environment but one that evokes an atmosphere and sense of the past.

The visitor is invited to enter the Sherlock Holmes world through a secret entrance and once beyond, is asked to adjust their thought process as the immediate environment may not be quite as it seems.

Drinkall Dean have used mirrors to create reflection and visual links and a large scale bookcase as a reference point for the stories of Sherlock Holmes. From the entrance, the visitor is drawn through the opening scenes through multiple films illustrating the many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes. Then back in time to explore Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the genesis of Sherlock Holmes and through film, objects, and paintings, will see London of the time and how it was portrayed in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. The visitor then moves through to a dissection of the genius that is Sherlock Holmes.

Drinkall Dean have employed theatre techniques, and used mirror and glass to encourage the visitor to engage with and assess their surroundings, drop any preconceptions and begin to unpick the narrative as they move through the spaces. Using shadow and silhouette we aim to create a presence of Sherlock. Object displays are not generally conventional, we want to arrest the attention of the visitor at all stages of the exhibition and to express three dimensionally the complexity of the personality of this written character. We have designed a series of ‘scenes’ for each object display, to help evoke the key themes at each point.

The character and mood of the exhibition shifts dramatically from section to section supporting the journey that the visitor experiences. Not only does the character of the deisng change but also the content and narrative twists and turns changing the pace radically in each section.

The final part is a multi-layered display that delves into the mind of Sherlock Holmes exploring various subjects and themes and exploring some elements forensically.

The exhibits are ‘staged’ and layered with content throughout combined with beautiful graphic interpretation by A+B Studio, AV by Squint Opera & lighting by DHA. The visitor is reminded that this is a man that never lived but will never die…

The exhibition runs until 12th April 2015


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