Globally-renowned Designers to Create YAM Centrepiece

Published on 02 November 2021

07 Thylacine_NMA_Endeavour250_039_Credit Ben Guthrie Photography - web version.jpg

Thylacine, an internationally-awarded interpretive design studio responsible for the newly developed exhibitions at WA Museum Boola Bardip and the Auckland War Memorial Museum is to lead the development of the permanent entry exhibitions for Coffs Harbour’s Yarrila Arts & Museum (YAM).

Thylacine will focus on the ‘Stories of Coffs’ social history exhibition while the city’s own local creatives Alison Page and Nik Lachajczak of creative agency Zakpage will deliver the ‘Welcome to Country’ Gumbaynggirr experience.

“It’s incredibly exciting that Thylacine and Zakpage will be creating these centrepiece displays that will form the entry focus of the new Museum and Gallery,” said Michelle Smith, Council’s Team Leader Cultural Services.

“These permanent displays will be the first experience that visitors have of YAM and we want our collective identity and history told in an exciting and inclusive way – an immersive, inclusive experience of the kind that Thylacine and Zakpage have earned well-deserved reputations for delivering both in Australia and overseas.”

Thylacine won the lead contract after an open tender process. The permanent exhibitions will be completed by mid-2023 after Yarrila Place is operational, however the Welcome to Country will be an important part of the Yarrila Place opening events.

“Thylacine is delighted to begin work on this significant cultural project for Coffs Harbour,” said Caolán Mitchell, Creative Director Thylacine. “The museum will celebrate the people and stories of this unique and special place. Our multidisciplinary team will work hard to design and deliver a stunning new museum experience for Coffs Harbour and we look forward to seeing the project come to life over the next few years. We are also looking forward to continuing to work collaboratively with Alison Page and Nik Lachajczak.”

Thylacine is an internationally-awarded interpretive design and make studio with 21 years of practical experience in the specialist field of interpretive design, working on permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Alison Page is a descendant of the Walbanga and Wadi Wadi people from La Perouse and is an award-winning creative at the forefront of the contemporary Australian Aboriginal cultural movement. Nik Lachajczak is a writer, director and cinematographer who has worked with communities in Australia and globally for the past 20 years. Together they created ‘Wellama’ a digital Welcome to Country film on permanent exhibition at Barangaroo in Sydney.   

“Zakpage is thrilled to work with the six Gumbaynggirr clans to create a digital expression of the welcome, capturing this important cultural protocol that celebrates Country and the care of it through cinematic vision and an evocative soundscape,” said Alison Page.

“Our goal is to provide visitors to YAM with a fascinating, fun, welcoming and inclusive place that they will want to return to and tell other people about,” added Ms Smith. “With these amazing designers on board, I’m sure we’re going to achieve that goal and more.”

The exhibitions will be designed to be in place for eight to 10 years with sections that can periodically be changed or updated. Entry to the permanent exhibitions will be free.

Pictured above is Endeavour 250 at The National Museum of Australia. Exhibition Design & Construction by Thylacine. Photography by The Guthrie Project.

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