Few things inspire and fascinate like our satellite, the moon, hanging in the sky with its silver glow and its mysterious dark side that we never get to see. While setting foot on it might be a feat for now still reserved to astronauts, you can get a chance to see it from up close with its giant reproduction, aptly named the Museum of the Moon.
The Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork installation created by UK-based artist Luke Jerram. The sculpture measures seven metres in diameter and it’s internally lit, allowing visitors to truly study the images of the real moon’s surface attached to the sculpture’s surface— and they’re pretty scientifically accurate as well since they come directly from NASA. The sculpture has a scale of 1:500,000, meaning that each centimetre of it represents five kilometres of the actual moon.
And just like the moon revolves around the Earth, the Museum of the Moon isn’t fixed in one place but moves, touring various countries and being displayed both indoors and outdoors. That way, the experience of the artwork is altered with each new venue, as its creator Luke Jerram explains in a press release. “It’s a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound,” Jerram continues, saying that the music is composed specifically for the installation by BAFTA winner composer Dan Jones.
“From the beginning of human history, the moon has acted as a ‘cultural mirror’ to our beliefs, understanding and ways of seeing,” writes creator Luke Jerram. “Throughout history, the moon has inspired artists, poets, scientists, writers and musicians the world over,” he continues. That’s what he hopes to achieve as well by bringing his artwork around the world, and observing cultural similarities and differences when it comes to our satellite and our relationship with it.
“It’s been wonderful to witness the public’s response to the artwork,” he says. “Some visitors lie down and moon-bathe, and once in Bristol we had an unexpected group of visitors who arrived in slow motion to the exhibition dressed as spacemen!”
The Museum of the Moon has spent part of the summer in China, and now it’s circling back to Europe for the fall— it will pass through the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland between September and November 2018. After that, it’s going to Melbourne, Australia, where it’s staying until spring 2019. If you too want to bathe in its moonglow and study its surface, you can check out the tour dates here to plan your visit.