Sarah McKee describes her experience of Gloucester Cathedral's latest installation.
I have been talking in superlatives since visiting the incredible ‘Museum of the Moon’ in Gloucester cathedral.
This fabulous touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram has used detailed imagery from NASA of the lunar surface to create a perfect replica of the moon, lit from within and suspended from the ceiling. He describes the installation as “a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition”.
The stunning, seven-metre sphere takes your breath away as it hovers theatrically in the nave of our beautiful cathedral. Artistically lit, the whole effect is highly atmospheric. Visitors create their own silhouettes against the light of the moon or create pictures where they appear to be holding it in their hands. Or simply walk around and underneath, bathing in moonlight and music.
The extraordinary installation itself is only part of the picture though. The placement of this impressive replica in the magnificent context of the cathedral makes the experience truly inspiring. The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said “One of our hopes is that the Moon installation should help people think for a moment, to reflect on what it means to place a scale Moon, inside a cathedral. What does it mean to them?”
A friend of mine, made another observation: “I love how the children come in to see the moon, but just stop and stare when they see the beauty of the cathedral!”
There is no doubt that combining the grandeur and beauty of the cathedral with the ethereal moon installation provides a peaceful, spiritual and entirely unique experience.