Following an out-of-this world run at Birmingham’s Thinktank science museum over the summer, Luke Jerram’s breathtaking Museum of the Moon is set to land in Coventry this September. Forming part of the city’s forthcoming Festival of Imagineers, the spectacular installation will make a splash at Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre before moving on to Coventry Cathedral.
Measuring seven metres in diameter, this spectacular installation takes the form of a massive, three-dimensional model of the moon. Inspired by lunar-influenced variations in the tide he observed while looking out over the Avon Cut in Bristol, multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram used breathtakingly detailed, 120dpi, 5.5GB NASA images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera to create his replica model at a scale of 1:500,000. The finished piece is a fully immersive experience, combining striking imagery with realistic lighting effects and surround-sound music by BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award-winning composer Dan Jones.
Arriving in the city centre on Monday 25 September, the artwork will first be installed above the swimming pool in Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre until Wednesday 27, where it will be accompanied by a packed programme of events. During the day, visitors will be able to swim by moonlight as well as joining in with “wave raves” and aquafit classes, and enjoying free performances from the Balbir Singh Dance Company. On Monday evening, Coventry University SU will be hosting a moonlit pool party, followed by an LGBT pool party on Tuesday night.
There will be a small charge for selected events that are taking place at Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre. Then from Thursday 28 until Saturday 30 September, the moon will move into Coventry Cathedral, where people will be able to experience it for free.
Richard Parker, Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre Manager, said: “We have a varied and exciting programme prepared as part of our GoSwim programme, ready for when the moon arrives. This is going to be an amazing time for staff and visitors to the sports centre and for the whole of Coventry – we are thrilled that we could be part of this event. Museum of the Moon is absolutely fascinating and I would urge everyone to come down and enjoy what is certainly going to be a very unique experience.”
Luke Jerram said: “I am so pleased to be bringing Museum of the Moon to the people of Coventry. Featuring the moon in these two very different locations, means that everyone can experience it in very different ways. You have the chance to swim, workout and see special performances around the pool at the leisure centre, which is something unique. But then people can go to Coventry Cathedral, lie underneath it and really take in the moon and experience it with the soundscape.”
Having already visited various locations around the country, Museum of the Moon comes to Coventry as part of a wider UK tour, a visit made possible by the Festival of Imagineers working in partnership with Coventry Sports Trust and the Coventry City of Culture Trust. The Coventry dates will coincide with a whole series of art, design and engineering-themed events for this year’s Festival of Imagineers.
Claire Maddocks, Festival of Imagineers Director, said: “From dramatic performances in Coventry Cathedral to an enormous moon suspended above the leisure centre swimming pool, there will be a host of unexpected and joyful experiences for all to enjoy during the Festival of Imagineers 2017. This year’s theme is ‘transformations’, and we hope we’ll be able to transform both residents and visitors’ perceptions of our city through these works.”
Laura McMillan, Manager of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are extremely excited that Luke is bringing his incredible piece of artwork to Coventry and that the city will experience it in a unique way. It is these kinds of projects that get people talking and we want to make sure that everyone has the chance to see the artwork while it’s in Coventry.
“We would like to thank the Festival of Imagineers for their hard work in making this possible and working with us and Coventry Sports Trust to make it the most awe-inspiring experience for everyone.”
Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support. The Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Adient, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, PET-Xi, SCC, Pertemps, CEF (City Electrical Factors) and Listers are also Bid Development Sponsors.
To show your support for Coventry’s bid on social media, follow @Coventry2021 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, visit www.coventry2021.co.uk.