One small step to Parr Hall for moon visit to celebrate landing anniversary

Space fans will only need to take one small step to Parr Hall to see the majesty of the moon up close as Culture Warrington celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

Luke Jerram’s magnificent Museum of the Moon touring installation will be suspended inside the Warrington venue from October 4-14 to mark 50 years since one of man’s greatest achievements.

This week in July 1969, astronauts Neil A Armstrong, Edwin E ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins launched into space in Apollo 11; on 20 July, Armstrong and Aldrin made history as they became the first people to walk on the moon.

Leah Biddle, cultural manager for arts charity Culture Warrington, spoke of her excitement to be welcoming this breathtaking celestial artwork to the town.

“There’s a real buzz around this historic anniversary at the moment and I’m thrilled that we are able to join in the excitement by welcoming Luke Jerram’s stunning work to Warrington.

Museum of the Moon is a spectacular installation which really brings home how awe-inspiring the moon is.

“We will be using the artwork to encourage our audiences and participants to share stories and memories, to talk about what the moon means to them; it’s such a magical way to engage children especially.”

Measuring seven metres in diameter, the artwork features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.

At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

Over its lifetime, Museum of the Moon has traveled the world and been displayed in the open air and inside venues as diverse as cathedrals, warehouses and swimming baths, thereby altering the experience and interpretation each time.

More than 3 million people have visited the artwork to date.

Luke explained the inspiration for the work, which first came to him 15 years ago: “From the beginning of human history, the moon has acted as a ‘cultural mirror’ to our beliefs, understanding and ways of seeing.

“Over the centuries, the moon has been interpreted as a god and as a planet; it has been used as a timekeeper, calendar and to aid night-time navigation.

“Throughout history the moon has inspired artists, poets, scientists, writers and musicians the world over.

“Different cultures around the world have their own historical, cultural, scientific and religious relationships to the moon.

Museum of the Moon allows us to observe and contemplate cultural similarities and differences around the world, and consider the latest moon science.”

The installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello-award winning composer Dan Jones.

Space is deliberately left for the public to interact with one another and participate in a communal shared experience; at Parr Hall a programme of lunar-inspired events is due to take place including film nights, gigs for young people and a variety of activities for children and older people.

Leah added: “We want to do whatever we can to ensure this visionary artwork can be enjoyed by people of all ages in a variety of different ways.”

Museum of the Moon is the centrepiece of this year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival which will also include a LightNight-style event in Queens Gardens with music, light installations and a family-friendly dance performance.

For those who can’t wait until October to go into orbit there is also the Space Odyssey exhibition on display now at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.

Featuring actual working parts from the Hubble Space Telescope, the exhibition reveals Warrington’s astonishing link to space exploration.

Listings information

Exhibition title: Museum of the Moon

Dates: Friday 4 – Monday 14 October

Times: Various

Admission: Free

Location: Parr Hall, Palmyra Square South

Listings information

Exhibition title: Space Odyssey

Dates: Until Saturday 21 September

Times: All day

Admission: Free

Location: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery