Margot Lombaert Inspired By Livingstone

Reading Time 1 minute and 10 seconds
Date 19 August 2021

Have you noticed the stunning line drawings throughout David Livingstone Birthplace?

After being brought on in 2019, designer Margot Lombaert worked with the Curatorial Team to create single-line image illustrations to portray elements of Livingstone’s story. They were inspired by Livingstone’s own words and influenced by his own doodles which litter the pages of his diaries The handwriting seen on the walls is not Margot’s, but was developed from Livingstone’s handwriting style, seen in his many journals.

Before coming onto the project, Margot had little knowledge of Livingstone, but says she learned a lot: ’He’s a really interesting character,’ she says, ‘A terrible missionary, but a really interesting character. Especially the way he took specimens and noted every little detail, recording everything. That’s the part of his life that really adds value to today; we need these records to be able to discuss the change in environment and the effects of climate change.’

The lion scene was her favourite to develop. Although it’s a 2D one-line drawing, she was able to convey the drama and action required to display such a fearful event.

Two of Margot’s illustrations were developed into 3D installations – The Boy Dreaming, outside of the Birth Room, and the Heart in Africa tree which stands in The Final Journey exhibit.

The museum’s curator said, ‘Margot’s doodles play an important role in the Museum’s interpretation. Illustrations of Livingstone’s crew, as well as ‘turning points’ in the story, allow us to highlight and build on key elements of the story in an engaging and dynamic way. Likewise, doodles of the maps show the scale of the journeys undertaken by Livingstone and his crew while still giving a sense of place by using the modern-day names of the countries through which they travelled’.

The doodles were painted onto the walls by Scott from Telfer Graphics.

Also see more postings at in the David Livingstone Birthplace Project Blog.

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David Livingstone Birthplace Exhibition Illustration - Credit Kat Gollock

We are very grateful to our key funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government for their support in helping us deliver the Birthplace Project.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland
Note: Please note that David Livingstone Birthplace (and the David Livingstone Trust) is no longer part of National Trust Scotland (NTS). NTS members will therefore no longer receive discounted/free entry to the Birthplace Museum.

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