VISITORS to Compton Verney Art Gallery in Warwickshire are being promised the moon this September – quite literally.
Inspired by the collection and the Chinese Moon Festival, the art gallery and park is showcasing UK artist Luke Jerram’s spectacular touring artwork, Museum of the Moon.
Jerram’s 1:500,000 scale replica is a massive seven metres in diameter and features highly detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. Every centimetre of the internally-lit spherical sculpture represents just over three miles of the moon’s surface.
Museum of the Moon will be suspended in Compton Verney’s courtyard and is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition, created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer, Dan Jones.
Visitors will be able to experience our nearest astronomical body and only natural satellite in a way usually reserved for astronauts, including the fabled ‘dark side of the moon’.
NASA contributed to Luke’s project by releasing the data of its famous and highly-detailed images of the Moon, helping him to realise a long-held idea and fulfil a childhood fascination.
He said: “In Bristol, which has the highest tidal range in Europe, there’s a 13-metre gap between high tide and low tide. Cycling to work each day over the river to work, 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 technical information I needed was made available by NASA.
“As a child I always wanted a telescope, so I could study the moon and the night sky. Now with my own moon, I can ‘fly’ there, study every detail and share this experience with the public. We can also explore the far side of the Moon which is never visible from Earth.”
Julie Finch, CEO-Director of Compton Verney added: “I think everyone has a certain fascination with the moon, one that stays with us from early childhood and right through our adulthood. It features in every aspect of the creative arts, such as poetry, music, film and, of course, visual art.
“Luke’s artwork brings all that sense of wonder and mystery into the heart of our famous location, allowing us to get up close to something that is normally over 238,000 miles away.”
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