Huge inflatable moon set to appear at The Forum for Norfolk and Norwich Festival
- Credit: Luke Jerram
Festival-goers are set to have an out-of-this-world experience during the opening week of this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Arts correspondent Emma Knights finds out more about the Museum of the Moon which is heading to the city.
Outer space will seem a lot closer to home in Norwich from tomorrow when a huge inflatable moon will appear outside The Forum for this year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
The intriguing installation has been created by artist Luke Jerram who has used detailed imagery from space agency NASA to create a scale replica of the moon which is about seven metres in diameter.
'It is half a million times smaller than the real thing. One centimetre on the artwork is 5km on the real moon,' said Mr Jerram, joking that his installation was actually made of cheese.
Accompanying it will be a specially-designed soundscape as well as a programme of special events, and people will also be invited to simply come and enjoy basking in the moonlight and exploring its lunar landscape.
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Mr Jerram is already well known for other high profile artworks around the world, including his Play Me I'm Yours project which has left pianos on the streets of more than 55 cities from London to Melbourne and New York, and his Park and Slide which caught the public's imagination and saw huge crowds turn out to watch people hurtle down a giant water slide in Bristol.
He said he was inspired to create this latest project because he saw the moon as a 'cultural mirror,' with different cultures thinking about the moon in different ways, and that the idea behind the project was to enourage people to reflect about the Moon and then to compare the thoughts of communities around the world.
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'The idea in part came from living in Bristol where we have the highest tidal range in Europe. There's a 13 metre gap between high and low tide and it's the moon that's making that happen,' he said.
'Cycling over the river every day it gave me the idea to think about making artwork about the moon. I was interested in the Moon for scientific reasons but also how the moon has inspired music, literature and mythologies throughout different countries and cultures. The Museum of the Moon will be touring around and comparing those cultures.'
He added: 'In the west when we look at the moon we see a man, in China they see a rabbit. In France they think of the moon as being female whereas in Germany they think of it as male.
'When we think about the moonlight we think about it as being slightly romantic, in other cultures they think about moonlight in different ways.
'I'm really looking forward to seeing how the programmes of events [inspired by the Museum of the Moon] are different in different places.'
Ahead of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Museum of the Moon has already been on tour to various places around the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and the hope is it will continue to travel the world for some time to come.
'I hope that people enjoy the artwork and get inspired about thinking about the moon in different ways,' Mr Jerram said, adding he may eventually turn his experiences of taking the Museum of the Moon to different communities into a book.
Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon - which is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival's free outdoor programme sponsored by Tarmac - will be at the Forum, in Norwich, from May 12 to 21.
For more about the Museum of the Moon, visit https://my-moon.org/
For more about Norfolk and Norwich Festival, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk
MUSEUM OF THE MOON EVENTS TIMES
Museum of the Moon will be outside The Forum from Friday, May 12 until Sunday, May 14 and from Saturday, May 20 until Sunday, May 21.
It will be inside The Forum from Monday, May 15 until Friday, May 19.
FRIDAY, MAY 12
6pm-6.20pm: Total Ensemble Theatre Company - It's a Wonderful Moon, George!
7pm–7.15pm: Juliet Kelly - jazz standards for all the family.
8.30pm-8.45pm: Luke Jerram - artist talk
8.45pm-9pm: Sophia Walker - performance poet
9pm-9.35pm: Norwich Cathedral Choir
SATURDAY, MAY 13
1.30pm–4.30pm: Meet Under the Moon - performances by local groups and moon-themed science workshops
1.30pm-4.30pm: British Science Association - Planets of the Solar System
1.30pm-4.30pm: Kinetic Science - Discovering Exoplanets
1.30pm: Norwich Rock Choir
2pm-2.20pm: Shelly Telly in association with The Common Lot - OUT140: The Little Show of Coming Out Stories
2.40pm-3.10pm: The Volko Trio - jazz funk band
3.30pm-3.50pm: Victory Arts - The Story of the Moon
4.10pm-4.30pm: Book and Bounce Time - space-themed storytelling
5pm–5.20pm: Total Ensemble Theatre Company - It's a Wonderful Moon, George!
SUNDAY, MAY 14
2pm–3.30pm: The Ragroof Players - Happy Feet dance-a-thon through the decades
SATURDAY, MAY 20
2pm–2.20pm/4pm–4.20pm: Humanhood - Orbis, a duet exploring the relationship between humankind and the moon
6pm–7pm: Rabo de Foguete - a high-energy performance of carnival-inspired music
SUNDAY, MAY 21
1pm–1.20pm/3pm–3.20pm: Humanhood - Orbis
4.30pm–5.30pm: Rabo de Foguete