Yanga – People, Lake, Country Exhibition

A sensitive exhibition design in a heritage space telling the stories about Yanga Lake and its layered history

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

'People, Lake, Country', located in Yanga National Park, explores the pervasive interaction between nature and culture. The exhibition connects memory, history and place through what has long been a focal point for the area – water.



Yanga was an iconic pastoral station, known across the Riverina district from the 1850s. The property was the largest freehold title in Australia before it was purchased by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in 2005.  The exhibition is a feature of the Yanga Homestead Precinct in the park and is installed in the historic Cook’s Cottage building. It houses and displays Yanga’s movable heritage. In May 2009 Yanga National Park opened to visitors.

The innovative exhibition design uses simple and honest forms that are thematically appropriate and sit lightly within the heritage building, providing a sense of openness and space in the 3 rooms of the Cook's Cottage

Trigger conceived the renovation of the cottage interior and designed the exhibition and all graphics.

Materials such as raw timber panels, industrial metal fixtures, and sail cloth fabric panels connect thematically and visually to the precinct.

Sensitive use of lighting, a colour palette drawn from the Yanga lakebed and innovative use of audio visuals create individual atmospheres for each room.

Visuals are projected directly onto walls and raw surfaces, enhancing the dialogue between content and physical space and removing the need for fittings which would intrude upon the heritage fabric. A poignant underwater atmosphere is created in the ‘Lake Room’ through ‘flood marker’ graphics on mud-coloured walls and the flickering effect of images of the lost lake projected onto a centrally located tabletop surface.

Yanga National Park was launched by the NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Carmel Tebutt, on Thursday 28th May 2009.

A cost-effective and sustainable bespoke object display system adds elevation and texture to the variety of exhibited materials.

The typefaces used reference the original Yanga front gate sign, station books and records, and surveyors’ maps of the Yanga Area. The overall effect is an environment where all sensory aspects have been thoughtfully addressed and historically referenced to provide a compelling, engaging, and memorable museum experience one would not normally expect in a remote location.