Lonely Planet Writer

An exhibition featuring a photo-realistic inflated replica of the moon is travelling the world

An incredible new installation from Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram displays an inflated photo-realistic model of the moon with imagery taken from a NASA satellite that was launched in 2010. It is set to be displayed at different festivals around the world in the coming months.

An evening with the Moon will be part of the traveling exhibition, allowing visitors to go for a swim beneath the stunning lunar replica.
An evening with the Moon will be part of the traveling exhibition, allowing visitors to go for a swim beneath the stunning lunar replica. Image by Luke Jerram

Measuring seven metres in diameter, the Museum of the Moon exhibit is a scaled down replica, with one centimetre on the sphere being equal to five kilometres in actual distance. The exhibition features detailed imagery at 120dpi and highlights ongoing lunar exploration and research. It is accompanied by surround-sound compositions by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Museum of the Moon on display at Lakes Alive Festival in Kendal.
Museum of the Moon on display at Lakes Alive Festival in Kendal. Image by Luke Jerram
The exhibit features photo realistic images taken by NASA to create an extremely realistic inflatable replica of the Moon.
The exhibit features photo realistic images taken by NASA to create an extremely realistic inflatable replica of the Moon. Image by Luke Jerram

The artwork was created in partnership with the UK Space Agency, University of Bristol and The Association for Science and Discovery Centres. Over its lifetime, the Museum of the Moon will be presented in a number of different ways both indoors and outdoors, altering the experience and interpretation of the artwork.

The Moon hangs over an excited crowd as an outside exhibition.
The Moon hangs over an excited crowd as an outside exhibition. Image by Luke Jerram

“Different cultures around the world have their own historical, cultural and religious relationships to the moon, so depending on where the Museum of The Moon is presented in the world, its meaning and interpretation will shift. As the artwork tours, new compositions will be created and performed by a range of established composers and musicians, so adding to the museum’s collection,” Luke said.

Artist Luke Jerram with the installation during a test inflation
Artist Luke Jerram with the installation during a test inflation. Image by Luke Jerram

So far the piece has been showcased at the Lakes Alive festival in Kendal, where it was suspended in St. Thomas’ Church for visitors to see. A programme of musical and spoken word performances also took place beneath the moon at the event. The exhibition is set to travel to Marseilles in France this month before being displayed in Belgium as well as at a selection of festivals across the United Kingdom.

The installation is set to visit a number of festivals across the United Kingdom as well as Belgium and France.
The installation is set to visit a number of festivals across the United Kingdom as well as Belgium and France. Image by Luke Jerram

“Like the moon, this artwork acts as a ‘cultural mirror’ that allows us to observe and contemplate cultural differences around the world. As it tours, new stories and meanings will be collected and compared from one presentation to the next,”Luke said about the tour. The artist’s past projects include a fleet of abandoned boats that were on display in Leigh Woods and a selection of pianos out on the street. More information on his work is available on his website.