Mike Langman - Interpretive work


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From 1984 Mike worked in the RSPB displays section at its headquarters, this involved outdoor and centre interpretive work. Most of this work is based around his illustrative abilities, but also includes some strong design work around the wildlife subject matter. The applications for this work can be diverse...


Working with ex-RSPB designer Harry Scott a digital library of illustrations has been built up now including much more than just birds as can be found on the illustration page. Some examples of display boards can be seen below:


These durable boards are usually site specific, either solely identification boards or depicting the habitats and wildlife. The illustrations can also be used in booklets, leaflets or websites:


Large scale hand coloured cut-out images are produced on various materials for internal and external use. MDF cut-outs can be seen below together with external images on marine plywood and plastic:


Life size cut out penguins in the under water penguin viewing area Living Coasts - Torquay, Devon.


Murals can form a backdrop for the cut-out images and are usually painted on site - straight onto a wall. The displays at the RSPB reserve at Loch Garten, Scotland and Dawlish Warren included off the wall and free hanging images aswell as interactive corner with levers and spinning disks to involve the audience in the displays:



A hide mural at Dawlish Warren Devon, is a heavily varnished hand painted 8ft x 4ft MDF board inside a bird hide the mural has been in place for 11 years and has only once required a ‘scrub up’ and new coat of varnish: 


The 14mx3m wall mural at  Living Coasts , Torquay in Devon tells the story of the extinction of the Great Auk. The visitors see the first part of the mural - a thriving colony of Great Auks and chicks as they approach along a long corridor. As the audience gets closer to the mural and round a corner the story unfolds with a ship sailing in, then hunters corralling and bludgeoning the defenseless, flightless birds. The story ends with a lone bird and then a skull with the Icelandic Island of Eldey (the last know location for the Great Auk) in the background:


The scroll pirate map is also at  Living Coasts  in the children's play area

Images blasted into wood, primarily, information boards, bench backs, and handrails often tell a story of food chains, life cycles or games. These designs require the images to be bold to lend themselves to the medium. The work starts it’s life as a black and white piece of artwork before it is scanned enlarged and sand blasted into the timber. The work is not only attractive and innovative but also tactile enabling it to be used by visually impaired. The timber boards can be unobtrusive, blending into the natural environment unlike many plastic boards. Timber is usually sourced locally and occasionally from the site:  

Bridge on the Ted Hughes Poetry Trail, Stover Country Park

Hand rail on a viewing platform at Slapton Ley

Brass rubbing way marker on the Exe Trail cycle way:

interactive displays


Basking Shark at The Seashore Centre, Torbay - push rear dorsal fin to make mouth open!


Spinning Shell identification dial The Seashore Centre, Torbay





Wildlife designs
for wood blasting or 'brass rubbing'

Interactive displays
Simple interactive educational displays

for internal exhibits