America’s answer to Lawrence of Arabia, Wendell Phillips, was one of the first to research and uncover the ancient archaeological history of Yemen. Exploring the region long before it was politically or personally safe for outside adventurers, Phillips traversed the region searching for clues to The Queen of Sheba. Phillips and his team escaped with their lives, but were forced to leave many treasures behind. This exhibition stood as tribute to the items they were able to take with them, and the story of their time in Yemen.
Hieronymus worked with Kelly Doe Studio on motion graphics that were showcased in the exhibit Unearthing Arabia at the Smithsonian's Freer|Sackler Galleries. The project culminated in large-scale video projections that brought to life the story of explorer Wendell Phillips in the 1940s. The final event focused on four large-scale video displays: the first acting as passageway into Wendell's Yemen, and the other three running large-scale on the interior wall, created to tell their own stories, and occasionally connecting to create one large, singular tale.
The videos were a mix of vintage footage, stills and motion graphics, with a strong conceptual theme that held the story together. The full-length videos are available to view on request. Here we've selected highlights that give the overall feel for the design and aesthetic, as well as show some of the process leading up to the final.
Alongside the video, Kelly Doe Studio partnered with Berlin-based Studiokamp to create and mix audio taken directly from Wendell’s 35mm film reels. The sound slowly drifted in and out throughout the exhibition, creating a beautiful, immersive experience for those exploring the artifacts and watching the videos.
In order to better understand the space available to us, 3D renderings were made to explore possible locations for video and audio.
Clients: The Smithsonian, Freer | Sackler Galleries, Kelly Doe Studio
Creative Direction, Research, Editing, Design, Project Management: Kelly Doe Studio
Art direction, Editing, Design, Animation: Hieronymus
Sound Design: Studiokamp
3D Renders: Jennifer Land