A new exhibition at a Dubai children’s play museum has brought the Moon to Earth. At least, an artistic replica of it.
The installation artwork, titled Museum of the Moon, is by British artist Luke Jerram and is on display at OliOli in Al Quoz. Measuring five metres in diameter, the inflatable work bears detailed imagery of the lunar surface taken by Nasa.
Internally lit, the sphere glows inside a dark room, adding to the immersive experience. As part of the installation, the artist has included a sound composition by award-winning composer Dan Jones, who has created scores for BBC series and feature films. There are also mirrors surrounding the sculpture, giving the optical impression of multiple moons, and OliOli has added a VR activity that allows visitors to drive on the Moon’s surface in a rover.
The children’s play museum has also devised interactive games and a craft station following a lunar theme, and is planning a yoga and meditation session under the Moon. Jerram’s work will be on view until April 2021. Currently, the tickets for one adult and one child is priced at Dh126.
OliOli’s latest exhibition coincides with the UAE’s recent space mission to Mars, the beginning of the country’s ambitions for space exploration, which also includes a Moon landing mission by 2024.
Jerram has previously shown Museum of the Moon in The Dubai Mall's Souk Atrium in 2017. The work has travelled to more than 30 countries, including India, China, Spain and Italy.
It has been presented in many parts of the UK, including at Glastonbury Festival last year, where it was suspended from a giant crane that was also used as a DJ stage, and at the Natural History Museum in London for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which resulted in the first Moon landing led by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Most of Jerram's projects involve installation, large-scale sculpture and live art, which he tours worldwide. His 2008 work Play Me, I'm Yours, for example, involved setting up pianos in public areas with the words "play me, I'm yours" written on the instrument. The project spread to 65 cities worldwide, with more than 2,000 pianos showing up on city streets, parks, bike paths, public squares and walkways.
Recently, the artist has unveiled In Memoriam, an installation that serves as a memorial for those who have died in the Covid-19 pandemic, including health care workers and volunteers who helped during the crisis. It consists of flagpoles arranged in a circle, bearing white and red flags that, when seen from above, form a cross. The artwork has travelled to at least five cities in the UK, and is now in view in Worcester, UK, as part of the Arches Festival.
More information can be found on olioli.ae