As part of our ongoing work work with Fremantle Prison, Axiom Design Partners were instrumental in developing the interpretive signage installation for a new exhibition featuring historic objects from Western Australian’s premier public collections.

‘Rock Breakers: convicts built this colony, geology made it rich’ tells the story of Fremantle Prison and the Old Perth Gaol during the 1880s.

In 1881 the colony’s first public collection was started at Fremantle Prison. The Geological Museum held rocks, minerals and fossils collected throughout Western Australia. The rock displays served as a reference collection for explorers and prospectors planning to set out into the state’s interior in search of the ultimate geological prize – gold!

In 1891 the Geological Museum moved from Fremantle Prison into the Old Perth Gaol. There it transformed into the Western Australian Museum, precipitating the birth of Perth’s cultural precinct.

Rock Breakers features samples from the original geological collection, typically held by the Western Australian Museum. Other objects showcased in the exhibition include punishment implements from the Fremantle Prison Collection and the original 1850 flogging post, early maps and plans from the State Records Office, colonial books from the State Library of Western Australia, and 19th Century scientific instruments from the Western Australian Museum.

The exhibition has been designed to appeal to those interested in WA’s rich cultural history as well as its geology. Visitors to the exhibition will see a snapshot of an important time in WA history – between the end of the convict system and the gold rush in 1892, it was a real transition period for the colony and everything in the exhibition talks about that little window of time.