Our Immerse Visual and Audio Experience
The use of colourful graphics, which physically divide the Museum’s space, as well as sound effects, are just a few of the ways we immerse visitors into Livingstone’s life and experiences.
Each of the first-floor exhibition spaces display 4-metre-tall graphics, which cut the space - turning a series of rectangular rooms into a winding path for visitors to follow. Using full colour versions of paintings by Thomas Baines, storekeeper and artist who later accompanied Livingstone on the Zambezi Expedition, the first gallery space tells the story of the Trans-Africa Expedition.
The full height graphics are intended to ‘WOW’ the audience, giving a flavour of the landscapes, plants and animals that awed Livingstone during his successful coast-to-coast expedition.
The ambient audio in the space (a combination of lion roars, hippo grunts, elephant trumpeting, and birds squawking) is intended to represent the wildlife that Livingstone encountered and studied during this journey.
As we venture onto Livingstone’s Zambezi Expedition, the colour pallet changes. The blue graphics of this area show simple illustrations, sourced from books both by and about Livingstone.
The blue reflects the story that is told: how a promising expedition along the Zambezi River soon turned sour and ended in death and disaster. It was in this region that Livingstone saw first-hand the harrowing impact of the East African Slave Trade.
The audio here reflects the sinister buzzing of the mosquitos that lurked along the riverbanks and added to the lethal failure that was Livingstone’s second expedition.
As the Nile expedition draws to a close, Livingstone makes the ultimate sacrifice and dies on his knees, after refusing to give up on his expedition and return home.
Graphic designer Margot Lombaert worked with the David Livingstone Birthplace team to realise the original design concept for these areas, developed by museum’s designers Event Communications.
The photographs of Baines’s oil paintings were licensed by the Kew Gardens, the Royal Geographical Society and the Mary Evans Picture Library. The illustrations displayed came from the Museum’s collection and were photographed by the Photographic Unit of the University of Glasgow.