Neath Port Talbot Council wanted an exhibition to tell the story of the site: how it developed from the original medieval Cistercian monastery of Margam Abbey; how the gardens were developed during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and stocked with interesting and exotic specimens by ‘plant hunters’ and how, today, they provide a haven for wildlife.

The exhibition was to be housed in a small building – originally used as a changing room for the swimming pool. However, only a very limited amount (£10k) was available. This required some very creative thinking to maximise the budget and produce an engaging exhibition!

We gave each of the Changing Room’s three available walls, a separate storytelling task and reinforced the garden theme with bold, eye-catching visuals throughout. For example, in ‘Rooted in History’, a tree outline provides an interesting graphic structure for the park’s timeline.

With budget in mind, the emphasis had to be on robust and simple interactive elements. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t be fun and rewarding! Visitors can now use the free standing, full-size ‘Victorian Family’ – with holes in place of faces – as a photo opportunity to create a lasting, fun memory of ‘taking a stroll through Margam’.

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