Brickwrecks

Opens December 17 2022

Brickwrecks

Sunken Ships in LEGO® Bricks

This exhibition is a unique combination of Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught’s stunning LEGO® models, plus real shipwreck objects, hands-on interactives and audio visual experiences that bring to life astonishing shipwreck stories.

 

Come and try different archaeology techniques, sink the Vasa, rebuild the portico from the Batavia wreck, pilot a remotely-operated-vehicle (ROV) beneath the ice to find the Erebus, see if you’d survive the Titanic sinking, clean oil pollution from a penguin and, of course, build your own LEGO® models.

 

 

 

The wrecks featured in the exhibition invite you to look closely and wonder at the many stories locked under the sea, they include:  

 

  • The oldest known shipwreck which sank off Uluburun, Turkey, around 1300 BCE;  
  • A Chinese ship that sank in 1323 near the Shinan islands, South Korea;  
  • Vasa, a Swedish warship that sank in 1628 in the Stockholm harbour;  
  • Batavia, a Dutch trading vessel that sank in 1629 off the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia;  
  • HMS Pandora which wrecked in 1791 in the Great Barrier Reef whilst on its way to hunt down the Bounty mutineers; 
  • HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, both wrecked in 1848 off King William Island, Canada, whilst searching for the North West Passage; 
  • RMS Titanic, the luxury steamship that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912; and  
  • MV Rena, the Liberian-flagged container ship that sank at Astrolabe Reef, New Zealand, in 2011. 

 

The Brickman, Ryan McNaught credit: Image Courtesy of Channel 9

 

Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught, a LEGO® Certified Professional - one of only 14 in the world and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, say that collaborating on this project reignited his childhood interest in shipwrecks. 

 

“I remember visiting the remains of the Vasa wreck in Stockholm with my parents and was filled with awe. This opportunity to work with specialists from the Western Australian Museum and Australian National Maritime Museum reignited my passion,” Mr McNaught said. 

 

“The models in Brickwrecks are built in so many different scales that it kept the team and me on our toes. Visitors even get to turn one of our models upside-down, which is something we’ve never done before! 

 

“We really enjoyed finding out the actual stories behind these wrecks as well – we’ve found the more research we do, the better our LEGO® builds will be.   

 

“All up, the team spent over 1600 hours, used over 153,000 LEGO® bricks, and had a tonne of fun bringing these models to life with lots of minifig details, hidden Easter eggs, as well as historical facts. We hope visitors have just as much fun exploring them as we did building them!

 

 

 




Programs and Events

Explore our exciting programs celebrating Brickwrecks across the year!

 

More programs coming soon...

 

  • Build with Brickman and the Team

  • Ocean Talks with Ryan McNaught aka The Brickman

  • Model Makers Festival



  • The Brickwrecks exhibition allows visitors to build their very own LEGO® creations. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.A scene on board the Dutch East India Company trading vessel Batavia was wrecked off the coast of Western Australia in 1629. Photo by Brickman.Brickwrecks features stunning LEGO® models as well as background information about how each vessel met their fate. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.LEGO® model of MV Rena which ran aground in New Zealand in 2011. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.LEGO® scenes are brought to life through augmented reality. Photo by Rebecca Mansell. Courtesy of Western Australian Museum.A LEGO® model of Swedish warship Vasa which sunk in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage in 1628. Photo by Brickman


    Learn

    Extend your learning experience with school groups visits and curriculum programs.

    Visit the museum:

    Maritime Archaeology
    Students explore the theme of 'piecing together the puzzle' through a hands-on workshop and a tour of related shipwreck material in the museum.

    Senior Maritime Archaeology
    Students examine artefacts from shipwrecks, investigate archaeological techniques and interpret archaeological material.

    Metals in Maritime Environments
    A practical workshop where students work on the principles of chemistry in maritime environments.

    See below for more details.






Play

Take your students beneath the surface of Australia’s past with an online game where players take the role of a modern maritime archaeologist hunting for some of Australia’s most prized shipwrecks.

Wreck Seeker is a gamified learning platform that allows students to develop and hone their historical skills of enquiry, analysis, and source evaluation.