Museum of the Moon is an inflatable three-dimensional artwork that travels all over the world. Every host country chooses where the moon should be displayed in order to enrich its potential and attribute new significations to it.
The idea belongs to Luke Jerram, a British artist who is specialized in sculpture, live art projects, and installation art, an artistic genre that is concerned with three-dimensional artworks that distort the perception of space. The creation of the moon was completed after six months of hard work. The replica has a diameter of seven meters and it is actually a helium balloon with a smooth surface, although the printed image of the moon makes it seem textured. The image is taken from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and is printed at a scale of about 1 centimeter to 5 kilometers. When the lighting conditions are low, the orb is lit internally in order for every detail to be observed even in the dark. The moon is also accompanied by music, which is created by the award-winning composer Dan Jones.
People of all cultures are connected by the moon
The moon’s journey began in 2016 and the orb has already visited countries all over the world, traveling through United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, China, Denmark, Netherlands, and many more. Each of these countries chose to display the astronomical object in a different manner, in order to emphasize their culture and beliefs or to project a mesmerizing picture with the help of this artwork. In the case of some countries, the moon is deeply rooted in national history and its celebration is a main part of the national identity. Others approach it poetically and regard it as a symbol for important values, while for some it is an object of scientific interest. In each case, this celestial object represents a source of fascination and is attributed an important value.
As there are significant differences in terms of interpretation, the choices of representation are also diverse, with the moon being displayed indoors, outdoors, or as a part of various festivals.
In Norway, the Museum of the Moon was presented in Greenwich Park and the crew Humanhood performed a dance in the form of a contemporary ritual, the theme being the relationship between mankind and the moon.
The second time the Museum of the Moon came to France, the moon was displayed over the main pool at St. Georges Swimming Pool. For three weeks, anyone could enjoy the experience of swimming under the moonlight. This idea was also adopted in Milan.
In China, the moon was displayed in the Beijing National Aquatics Center during the Moon Festival, with a ten-meter version of the moon being constructed especially for this important occasion. The moon is highly significant for the Chinese culture, being regarded as a carrier for human emotion and a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion. During the Moon Festival, the Chinese hike up high hills in order to have a better view of the Earth’s natural satellite and make a wish; Luke Jerram’s replica provided an alternative for those who couldn’t celebrate in the traditional manner.
Other important festivals in which the moon was the main character include the Glastonbury Festival, where the orb was suspended from a giant crane above the crowd, or the Olala International Street Theater Festival, where it was displayed above a lake near the castle in Lienz, Austria. Museum of the Moon was also presented in renowned cathedrals, music halls, museums and was even a star in a BBC1 television show.
In the context of the pandemic, the latest festival where the moon was a participant was Lights On Romania, one of the few light festivals which were held in Europe this year. This edition’s theme was solitude and its potential as a means for reflection and self-improvement.
Currently, there are several moons touring simultaneously and you can stay updated with their locations here.