National Archives Snowy Hydro

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme is one of the most complex integrated water and hydro-electric power schemes in the world. The Scheme collects and stores the water that would normally flow east to the coast and diverts it through trans-mountain tunnels and power stations. The water is then released into the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers for irrigation.

As part of the 60th anniversary of the scheme, the National Archives of Australia, in partnership with one of their creative design consulting partners - Iona Walsh Art & Design, created a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history and development of this engineering feat. 

Situated in the halls of the National Archives building, the exhibition features interesting imagery and information about the Hydro-electric Scheme from beginning to completion.

Screenmakers were asked to produce the displays for the exhibition. 

The digital artwork for the exhibition was directly printed onto dibond panels. After digital printing, the panels were each router cut and folded back in order to create a soft edge to allow the artwork to flow around the sides. Following this, the panels were given a satin clear coat for protection.

An interesting component of this exhibition is the stepped photo panel (shown above). It contains multiple images that have been arranged together with variable depths. This display has been designed to allow each of the individual image panels to vary between 20mm to 50mm deep. The display unit is special in that it has keyhole mountings in rear of the aluminium photo panels that allow for each of them to be set at different heights. This design allows for individual images, or the entire layout to be changed if required in the future.

Due to the National Archives being a heritage listed building, it is desirable to avoid any potential damage to any of the rendered walls. Panels for exhibitions are hung using pre-existing adjustable pins with threads set into the walls. These pins can be re-used for new artwork and exhibitions in the future.

Stepped photo panel