Director's exhibition a technical challenge

James Cameron's abyss is starting to take shape in one of Otago Museum's vast galleries.

Last month, the museum secured New Zealand exclusive rights to host the "James Cameron - Challenging the Deep" exhibition on the first stop of its international tour, and since the exhibits arrived two weeks ago, staff have been working long hours to put them on display.

Museum exhibitions designer Shanaya Allan said the exhibition was quite different from most others, and was proving to be "a really technical build".

Otago Museum exhibitions designer Shanaya Allan admires a scale model of the Titanic, as it...
Otago Museum exhibitions designer Shanaya Allan admires a scale model of the Titanic, as it looked when Hollywood film director James Cameron did a deep-sea exploration of the vessel on the North Atlantic Ocean floor. The model was used in Cameron's movie about the doomed ship. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
"We are installing the objects this week with a team from Australia. Next week, we will have a team from Sydney working on the lighting and the sound.

"It's quite a theatrical exhibition."

She said there would be four different documentaries playing on large screens in the gallery at different times.

"While you're standing, watching a particular documentary, the lights move to different objects in the gallery that relate to what's happening in the documentary.

"There's been a lot of learning for us, working with the companies from Australia.

"The wiring and cabling behind everything has been a lot of work for us."

She said one of the highlights of the exhibition was a large scale model of the Titanic, which shows what the cruise liner looked like when Cameron made a deep-sea exploration of the vessel in 1995. The model was used in his blockbuster Hollywood movie, Titanic.

Other highlights were Rose and Jack’s costumes, the necklace from the movie, and a replica of the submersible used by Cameron for his deep-sea dives into the Mariana Trench.

Developed by the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, in collaboration with the Avatar Alliance Foundation, the exhibition takes visitors to the depths of oceans through the lens of Cameron’s underwater cameras, which have documented the shipwrecks of Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, explored phenomena such as black smoker hydrothermal vents, and discovered new species from the lowest point on Earth.

It will run from July 21 until February 2020.

Add a Comment