In 2015 Sarner designed and delivered the Enduring Eye exhibition for the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), bringing to life the remarkable story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917. The RGS had digitised a number of images directly from originals taken by Shackleton’s official expedition photographer Frank Hurley, and saved by him under the most extreme circumstances.
To honour the crew’s epic struggle for survival, the RGS wanted to create a new exhibition that would open to the public on Saturday 21 November, exactly 100 years to the day after their crushed ship Endurance sank and they found themselves stranded on the vast ice floes. After a competitive tender, the RGS chose Sarner for our ability to design and deliver a narrative experience that would immerse the visitor in the drama and emotional journey of the crew, while bringing Hurley’s stunning imagery to the forefront, in addition to some incredibly rare artefacts that were carried through every stage of the crew’s journey.
We faced several challenges in our exhibition design, including the need to tell a complex story in an engaging way. We felt it important to integrate graphics, AV, sound and set design in such way that we could convey the key locations, events and psychological states Shackleton and his crew went through in the two-year expedition, but also had to work within a limited space within the fantastic RGS building.
Meredith Hooper, the Antarctic historian, writer and broadcaster, researched, wrote and curated the exhibition, delivering a fantastic narrative that allowed us to create an immersive environment, and the RGS were a brilliant client with their support and dedication to creating a truly impactful experience for the visitors.
“Thank you to the Sarner team for your commitment and hard work which enabled us to deliver the exhibition so successfully. It has been a great pleasure to work with you all. We originally briefed for an exhibition which would provide visitors with a ‘wow’ factor and the response confirms that you have succeeded big time.”
Alasdair Macleod (RGS)
“I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a responsive and understanding group of people. The exhibition is pleasing – and informing – its visitors. And – they are coming, in large numbers. That, of course is what it’s all about.”
Meredith Hooper (Exhibition Curator)