Museum of the Moon: 'I wanted to make the artwork as realistic as possible to give the public the opportunity to fly to the Moon'

Museum of the Moon: 'I wanted to make the artwork as realistic as possible to give the public the opportunity to fly to the Moon'

credit: Ed Simmons

Huge touring sculptural recreation of the Moon created by artist Luke Jerram

Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon brings the cosmic within touching distance. A huge intricately detailed recreation of the Moon, it measures seven meters in diameter and is covered in high resolution imagery from NASA. Each centimetre represents roughly 5 kilometres of the Moon's surface. It's a gorgeous installation that makes you reassess something we see on a nightly basis.

Jerram was inspired by his life in Bristol. 'Bristol has the highest tidal range in Europe. There's a 13 meter gap between high tide and low tide. Cycling to work each day over the river reminded me that it's the gravitational pull of the Moon that's making this happen. I had the idea to create the Museum of the Moon some 15 years ago, but it was only until very recently that the data for creating the Moon imagery was made available by NASA.'

Jerram's fascination with the Moon started in childhood with dreams of space travel. And he wanted to explore that fascination with outer space via his installation. 'As a child I always wanted a telescope so I could study the Moon and the night's sky. I wanted to make the artwork seem as authentic and realistic as possible to give the public the opportunity to fly to the Moon. For most people, this will be their most intimate, personal and closest encounter they will ever have with the Moon.'

Museum of the Moon is touring indoor and outdoor venue's across the globe. Currently on display at Mackintosh Queen's Cross Church, Glasgow, until 24 Jun, its next Scottish appearance will be at the Kelburn Garden Party (Fri 29 Jun–Sun 1 Jul). 'Depending on where the artwork is presented, the meaning and interpretation of the Museum of the Moon, will shift. The interpretation of the Moon will be completely different if it is presented in a cathedral, warehouse, science museum or arts centre.'

The spherical sculpture is internally lit with accompanying music composed by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. 'The Museum of the Moon installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition. As the artwork tours, new audio compositions will be created and performed by a range of established composers and musicians, so adding to the Museum of the Moon collection.'

Museum of the Moon, Mackintosh Queen's Cross Church, Glasgow, until 24 Jun; Kelburn Garden Party, Fri 29 Jun–Sun 1 Jul; then touring.

Museum of the Moon

A giant inflatable moon with detailed imagery of the moon's surface, courtesy of NASA, by artist Luke Jerram.

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