THE MOON will be out in full at Compton Verney over half term.
The country house art gallery near Wellesbourne will be playing host to UK artist Luke Jerram’s touring artwork Museum of the Moon from October 29 to November 1.
Jerram’s 1:500,000 scale replica is a massive seven metres (almost 23 feet) in diameter, and features highly detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. Every centimetre of the internally-lit spherical sculpture represents 5km (3.1 miles) of the moon’s surface.
Museum of the Moon will be suspended in Compton Verney’s avenue of Wellingtonia trees – originally planted by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – and features 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 earth’s nearest astronomical body and only natural satellite in a way usually reserved for astronauts, including the fabled ‘dark side of the moon’.
NASA even 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.”
Luke explained visitors to the Compton Verney installation would see and experience it in a completely unique way:
“Depending on where the artwork is presented, the meaning and interpretation of the Museum of the Moon changes. The interpretation of the moon will be completely different if it is presented in a cathedral, warehouse, science museum or arts centre. Whether the artwork is exhibited in China, USA, India or Europe the cultural context and audience, also effects the public’s interpretation. Every culture has its own relationship to the Moon which varies from one country to another.”
Julie Finch, CEO-Director of Compton Verney says Museum of the Moon promised to be a magical experience for adults and children alike:
“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 park, allowing us to get up close to something that is normally over 238,000 miles away.”
Visit comptonverney.org.uk for full details.