View all news

Museum of the Moon lands in iconic Bristol building

Museum of the Moon in the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building

Artist Luke Jerram with the Museum of the Moon

The impressive structure features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface

Press release issued: 20 March 2017

One of Bristol’s most iconic buildings will be home to a giant replica of the moon this week.

The Wills Memorial Building at the top of Park Street is being transformed thanks to a partnership between the University of Bristol and renowned artist Luke Jerram, whose Park Street water slide, street pianos and fleet of abandoned boats in Leigh Woods have become massive draws for visitors to the city.

His Museum of the Moon artwork, which measures seven metres in diameter, will fill the Great Hall to mark the installation of the University's new Chancellor, Sir Paul Nurse, on Wednesday [22 March].

The public are invited to marvel at the ethereal sight on Saturday 25 March and Sunday 26 March.

The impressive structure features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At a scale of 1:500,000, each centimetre on his moon will represent 5km on the surface of the Earth's largest natural satellite.

It highlights ongoing lunar exploration and research and comes with its own music - a surround-sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Luke said: "This is an opportunity for the public to have a close encounter with the moon, to study every detail of its surface and to bathe in moonlight. The Great Hall is such an amazing space to present the Museum of the Moon and I'm really grateful for the University's support to present this artwork."

The installation in the Great Hall is part of the Moon's international tour in which it is presented in different ways, both indoors and outdoors, altering the experience of the artwork for different audiences worldwide.

The artwork has been created in partnership with the UK Space Agency, University of Bristol, at-Bristol and The Association for Science and Discovery Centres.

Dr Erik Lithander, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bristol, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to host the Museum of the Moon at such an important moment in the University's history. We have a long tradition of solar-system research, including analysing the moon rocks collected during man’s first landing on the moon in 1969. The moon continues to inspire our research today.

"We are also proud to work with Luke and to contribute towards his public arts portfolio for people in Bristol and beyond."

Members of the public can view the Museum of the Moon for free by visiting the Great Hall, found within the Wills Memorial Building at the top of Park Street. It will be open to the public from 10am to 8pm on Saturday 25 March and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday 26 March.  Luke Jerram will be giving talks at 11.30am and 4.30pm on Sunday.

The public can also sign up to special Moon Tower Tours of the Wills Memorial Building on these days. Tours cost £5 and all proceeds go The Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal. For more information, visit the Museum of the Moon website and follow the #MuseumOfTheMoon hashtag on social media. You can sign up for a Moon Tower Tour on your chosen day in the reception area of the Wills Memorial Building.

Edit this page