Exhibition: Caving World under the Mountains
130 years of organized Slovenian speleology
Animated selection of cavers’ portraits
Detailed information +
Project lead
Bogomir Remškar
Exhibition photos
Tomaž Grdin
Illustration
Katarina Šeme
Animation
Katarina Šeme
Full credits
Click here
Art direction & design
Tomaž Grdin
Polygon
Mitja Benčina
Client
Speleological Association of Slovenia
Production year
2019

About Caving in Slovenia

Underground explorers are constantly attracted by the charm of the unknown and a desire to discover something new. Slovenia has more than 10.000 registered caves and each year cavers find more than 100 new ones.

The first caving society was founded in 1889, at that time the third in the world. Its purpose was exploring and preserving the underworld and that has not changed over the years. Furthermore, protection and conservation of caves is becoming increasingly important as pollution easily damages the incredibly fragile cave habitat.

Opening panel leading to the exhibition

About the exhibition

The anniversary of organised caving in Slovenia was marked with an exhibition. The wider public had a chance to learn all about the history of Slovenian caving and a wide range of activities which shape modern caving: cave exploration, cave rescue, cave archive, cave protection, cave diving, and more.

My role in this project

I was invited to help at two sections of the exhibition. My first task was to prepare illustrated portraits of the important cavers in Slovenian history. The second task was to create a friendly character which will engage children and make the exhibition interesting to them as well.

Portraits

Anton Globočnik
Anton Lindner
Ferdinand Schmidt
Jože Jelovšek
Some of the original portraits of cave explorers. Source: internet

We were presenting a number of important people in Slovenian speleology who lived from 17. century until today. Because of this many of the available photos are extremely low resolution and considerably diverse in look and style, and quality.

To reach a unified look I decided to create simplified line illustrations for all of the explorers. In total there was 27 portraits waiting to be illustrated.

Illustration style explorations

Final illustrations

Janez Vajkard Valvasor
1641 - 1693
Balthasar Hacquet
1735 - 1815
Anton Globočnik
1825 - 1912
Ferdinand Hochstetter
1829 - 1884
Fran Erjavec
1834 - 1887
Wilhelm Putick
1856 - 1928
Pavel Kunaver
1889 - 1988
Ivan Michler
1891 - 1982
Egon Pretner
1896 - 1982
Marko Aljančič
1933 - 2007
Peter Habič
1934 - 1998
Tomo Vrhovec
1958 - 2000

Applications

Portraits leading us down the stairs to the “underground world”.

Children’s corner

The exhibition provided some extra elements to engage children while their parents are having a more detailed look at the photographs. To simulate the narrow passages, dark spaces and fragile stalactites in the cave, the team built several wooden models, ready for interaction and physical experience.

To specifically invite children to try out the wooden structures I designed a cute little bat character. The bat was attached to the structure with a specific invitation and served as a guide of what to do.

Cute bat character spoke to the children
A “cave playground” for children
The exhibition premiered in Slovenian Alpine museum and then moved to Škocjan caves where you can still see it today.
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