Museum of Ancient Mazovian Metallurgy, Pruszków
Description of realization:
“Darkness of the past”, “gloomy past” – these collocations have become part of common language. We have decided to shed new light on them: both in metaphorical and literal meaning. How? We have given the permanent exhibition of Stefan Woyda Museum of Ancient Mazovian Metallurgy (Hutnictwa Mazowieckiego imienia Stefana Woydy) in Pruszków a new splendor.
The title of the exhibition is very meaningful. “Daybreak” – this is how the reality presented in museum’s exhibition rooms could be described. The exhibition reminds of one of the most important discoveries of Polish post-war archeology – Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy.
The originators of the exhibition presented the phenomenon in a modern and original way. Making use of original monuments of Przeworsk culture of western Mazovian region, they created a coherent and fascinating story. The exhibition is a journey into the depths of history through objects, films, spatial reconstructions, drawing visualisations and an extraordinary attraction: reconstruction of a painted glass goblet in the form of a holographic projection. These effective solutions make past come to life in front of visitors.
Nevertheless, it would not be possible without a well-designed lighting, implementing the latest technological advances. Undertaking this assignment, we came up with an idea of evoking a mysterious atmosphere that would come with discovering old traces of human thought. The exhibition appears in semi-darkness, bringing to mind the part of night – “daybreak”, which the title refers to. Crossing the threshold of the museum in Pruszków, visitors feel they have entered a different reality, thousand years away, made in a certain way close through a word and picture. To make the journey in time exciting, we thought that except for factual knowledge, we would need presentations stimulating visitors’ imagination that would expand their vision of past and encourage them to explore it themselves. As it turned out, a well-adjusted composition of light and shade could play such a function. Understanding the character of the exhibition and its unique meaning helped us design a profoundly thought out lighting.
The choice of appropriate light intensity (its intensity should be varied and balanced) as well as achieving smooth changes of angles of lighting (smaller and bigger “patches of light”) appeared to be the most important technical challenge. We illuminated museum’s objects in display cases with due diligence, bearing at the same time in mind further exhibition elements: boards with photos, drawings, visualisations and descriptions. These are the multimedia solutions and visual presentations which in a unique way stimulate a visitor’s imagination who accompanied by a gentle sound, walks along the museum’s exhibitions rooms, under a starry sky discreetly passes by an illuminated skeleton of an ancient animal, enters a three-dimensional Mazovian forest and guided by interesting painting, visits neighbouring settlements.
We are delighted we could illuminate this unusual museum journey, hence contribute to promoting our common cultural heritage.