Luke Jerram's 'Museum of The Moon' at Bolton Abbey - an out of this world experience
What I loved about it:
I loved the fact that an international touring art spectacular is on display in the church that I got married! I loved how ‘the moon’ filled the Priory making this a really intimate experience.
Value for money (out of 10):
Luke Jerram's 'Museum of The Moon', a spectacular art and surround sound installation, is on display at Bolton Abbey throughout October
This afternoon we visited Bolton Abbey to see Luke Jerram’s ‘Museum of the Moon’ on display in the Priory. Woah. There was only one word that escaped my mouth in those first few moments of walking through the door. It really was a sight to behold.
Luke Jerram is well known for his extraordinary large scale public art projects. The moon, his best to date, has been created in partnership with the UK Space Agency, University of Bristol and The Association for Science and Discovery Centres. Measuring 7m in diameter the moon is suspended from the ceiling, sitting 3m off the floor. It is covered in scaled NASA images of the actual moon’s surface. As the moon is suspended above you it is quite surreal how close it feels. The detail in the imagery is fascinating and I found myself just wandering, mouth agog trying to take it all in. Pretty mind blowing!
Having been on tour around the country (and the world) for the past few years I have been watching from afar Luke Jerram’s art pieces. ‘The Museum of the Moon’ and also ‘Gaia’ (The Earth) have never been closer than an hour and a half’s drive away so the opportunity now to see it at Bolton Abbey is too good to miss. When I found out it was coming to Bolton Abbey I booked my tickets quicker than lightning!
After arriving at the Priory and been greeted by the guides we were proudly escorted through the entrance to the Priory and presented with the large double doors to the Church. Taking me back to my wedding day when I stood behind those doors waiting to walk down the aisle with my Dad, the apprehension and excitement started to build. The boys must have picked up on it as they were deadly quiet as the music started to play and we waited patiently for the guide to open the door. Up until that point there had been non stop questions; ‘Is it the actual moon? How did it fall out of the sky? Will they put it back again?
The music that is played alongside this awe inspiring artwork is by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer, Dan Jones. Once the doors opened we crept in and were rewarded with the sight of the moon floating there. Sounds of the first landing on the moon could be heard echoing around which was surprisingly powerful and moving.
Bolton Abbey Priory is the most beautiful iconic venue to hold such an exhibit. Dating back to 1154, having been founded by Augustinian Monks, what remains is the ruins of the priory after the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the fully functioning refurbed church of St Mary and St Cuthbert. With its super high ceilings, stained glass windows, wall paintings and gothic décor, Luke Jerram’s ‘Museum of the Moon’ fits perfectly snug inside. The cool, calm, sombre atmosphere of the church reflects the artwork. Art is what you make it. It is personal to everyone. Each person thinks differently about it and it was lovely explaining to my 4 year old what art was. Even though he had lots of questions beforehand he did take some time to just look at it and try and absorb it. My nephew was a little overwhelmed by the music and my baby was just excited being underneath it and looking at the lights and reflections. Something for everyone!
To see this spectacular event you do need to prebook tickets which can be done alongside the car park tickets for the estate. Season ticket holders are free. You do get an hour slot but (especially with children) you will be finished within 20 minutes.
If you really want to absorb this exhibit further then why not try a mindfulness session. On the 24th and 25th October the Devonshire Arms are putting on sessions delivered by a trained coach. The sessions set underneath the suspended moon will teach you numerous practices and techniques to allow you to be more ‘in the moment’.
Whilst you are on the Bolton Abbey Estate make the most of it and explore the area. Take a look at my handy links section to discover how to spend a few days in the area including where to stay, where to eat and what to do.
For more local inspiration of what to do in the area follow me on Instagram @girlaboutyorkshire