Paddock to Plate

We love food and wine, so when we got the opportunity to design an exhibition around them we jumped at the chance. Paddock to Plate at the Orange Regional Museum tells the story of food and wine production in this beautiful district. The exhibition is filled with stories of place, people and a passion for produce.

Curator Sandra McEwan and the museum team assembled an impressive trove of over two hundred objects from around the Orange region, with enormous variety in size and scale. Ploughs, refrigerators and a rare wheat flail joined whisks, butter pats and dainty mementos of dining in a bygone era.

Working with the size and shape of the museum’s exhibition space was an initial challenge. The irregularly-shaped space has high angled ceilings, twenty-metre-long perimeter walls and a vast central area. We aimed to create pace, interest and an inviting exhibition space.

Our concept placed food at home in the centre of the exhibition, with the stories relating to production, processing and external forces encircling it. We activated the central area with two engaging interactives. The first is a stylised ‘kitchen’ displaying utensils in a pigeonhole format that echoes kitchen cupboards. Some of these cupboards are see-through, and others have solid doors. Each door has a single word printed on the face giving a clue to the use of the object inside. Nearby, a dining table is covered in a series of projections showing changing styles and tastes of home eating from the 1800s to today.

Stories about producing, processing and forces of change run around the perimeter walls, giving space for large farming objects and showcases containing smaller artefacts. A range of farming tools is mounted on a series of simple white backing boards, so that the timelessly beautiful shapes of these objects can be clearly seen.

The wealth of objects and stories needed a simple and elegant background. We used a deep, rich bronzed green for all the plinths and painted the walls in a clean, crisp white. With the addition of striking graphics and illustrations, Paddock to Plate was ready for visitors to feast on.


Orange Regional Museum


Orange, NSW


Natasha Townsend, Orange City Council


Kyle Manning

” Penny Hardy of Design Community created a brilliant design for our exhibition Paddock to Plate: a history of food and wine in Orange and District at Orange Regional Museum which opened in April 2018. The design perfectly complemented the architectural space of the museum and allowed the objects, images and multimedia to be presented in their best light. Penny understood and amplified the curator’s vision from the beginning and her detailed drawings made project management a whole lot easier as our construction and installation teams were able to plan effectively as a result. Her concept was fresh and playful and appealed to people of all ages and walks of life.”

Bradley Hammond, Director, Orange Regional Museum and Gallery

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