Back in February 2019, we visited Northern Ireland and were lucky enough to see artist Luke Jerram’s Gaia exhibition at W5 Interactive Science Centre, which was truly stunning!
Now, three Dorset arts festivals are joining forces to present DORSET MOON in response to the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing, giving residents and visitors alike the ability to gather in three amazing locations to look to the stars and illuminate the collective imagination.
Dorset Moon is built around artist Luke Jerram’s monumental Museum of the Moon installation, seven-metres in diameter and created from high-definition NASA imagery of the moon’s surface. It is accompanied by audio composed by BAFTA winner Dan Jones and will be presented in each location with ‘Under the Moon’, a full supporting programme of events curated by Inside Out Dorset (produced by Activate), Arts by the Sea and b-side festivals.
‘Under the Moon’ will have a different feel in each location and several exciting new cultural experiences have been specially commissioned, some of which can be seen at all three locations. Others are more site-specific, but one – A Small Dream – will take place with a unique show at each venue.
Combining outdoor dance and projection, it is a collaboration between award-winning choreographer Hemabharathy Palani, who will be dancing in person at Bournemouth and Weymouth, and R&D the innovative interdisciplinary studio founded by artists Rachel Davis and Daniel Saul to make films for projection mapping and theatre. Their films of Hema dancing will be shown in two locations in Sherborne Abbey.
“Each part of the story is a stand-alone piece, but by viewing all three audiences will be able to track the developing story of a tiny female robot on her perilous 400,000-kilometre journey from the Earth to the Moon,” explains Kate Wood, Executive & Artistic Director of Inside Out Dorset, which commissioned A Small Dream for Dorset Moon.
“The inspiration for the story was the feminine focus of India’s ambitious space programme with women in several key positions in TeamIndus, a private company attempting to touch down on the Moon in a spacecraft it has identified as female. The story of A Small Dream connects and contrasts the giant strides being taken by women in the space programme with the very traditional, but changing, view of Indian family life. As the robot travels into space she must confront her own dreams and, on landing, make sense of a new reality.
“Hema is a wonderful performer whose work straddles the traditional and the contemporary; while R&D make films that are quite simply beautiful. This is a lovely new commission that we are so proud to be able to premiere at Dorset Moon.”
India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 2, will launch in July to land in September on the moon’s previously unexplored southern pole, an area that India will also be able to name. It will be the Indian Space Research Organisation’s first lunar landing and follows the success of Chandrayaan 1, its 2008 mission to orbit the moon.
The other new commissions for Dorset Moon are all very different, cross discipline and from artists at varying stages of their careers, including Dorset-based Ra Zamora’s sound installation Call of the Wild; Laura Reid’s silent disco soundtrack Celestial Bodies; Matilda Skelton-Mace’s installation Earth Module in which infinity mirror effects and organic lighting patterns evoke the night sky and play with scale; This Then Is the Moona 150-second immersive experience by George Roberts with Natasha Salkeld and Immy Howard; Wind and Unwind, Helen Ottaway’s ten-minute composition for musical box and voice; and Pledge, Carrie Mason’s short performance collective drawing.
LOCATIONS AND DATES
Friday 28th – Sunday 30th June Central Gardens, Bournemouth
The Upper, Central and Lower Gardens have all been Green Flag winners since 1999 and run from Bournemouth Pier to the boundary with Poole. The gardens are 3km long. They are all part of the Bourne Valley Greenway and are Listed Grade II in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens. DORSET MOON will be in Central Gardens, near the War Memorial.
Friday 5th July – Sunday 7th July Sherborne Abbey, Sherborne
Founded by St Aldhelm in AD705, the Abbey has developed from Saxon cathedral to the worshipping heart of a monastic community, and finally, to one of the most beautiful of England’s parish churches. For many it is still the ‘Cathedral of Dorset’ and its Benedictine heritage lives on in the daily offering of prayer and praise.
Friday 12th July – Sunday 14th July Nothe Fort, Weymouth
Nothe Fort is now one of Weymouth’s major attractions and a venue for a wide range of public events. You don’t have to be a military enthusiast to enjoy your visit. It’s a great day out for all the family with lots to see and explore. This weekend also sees the Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival return to this picturesque harbour town.
For more details on Dorset Moon and the full programme for Under the Moon visit www.dorsetmoon.com