Solar system sculpture trail to open in Cambridge
A 10 km-long sculpture trail of the solar system will run from the heart of Cambridge to Waterbeach this summer, titled Our Place in Space.
Stretching from Midsummer Common in the centre of Cambridge and running along the riverside to the Woodland Trust's Cow Hollow Wood in nearby Waterbeach, the epic scale model reflects the size of each planet at scale and the distance between them, starting with the Sun. It comes to Cambridge after hugely successful installations in Derry and Belfast.
The free sculpture trail has been designed by children's author and artist Oliver Jeffers with support from leading astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt.
Oliver Jeffers says: "For centuries, we've defined ourselves by who we are and who we're not. Which side we choose, on what ground we stand, who and what we fight for. A human story, that lives merely in human minds. But with distance comes perspective – and what happens to our perspective on everything when we look back at Earth from space? Our Place in Space is a playful experiment that asks: What is the difference between 'us' and 'them'? Which side are we on, and if we look back at ourselves from vastness of outer space – alone on our tiny planet, the only one that can harbour life – should there be any 'sides' at all?"
In advance of the trail opening in Cambridge, organisers have been working with partners on the ground in Cambridge such as navigation authority Cam Conservators, the City Council and Cambridge University, to make the trail a reality. Alongside the trail, a launch events programme will animate the city centre from July 30-31 with interstellar tours, STEAM activities, stargazing, live music performances and film screenings. The critically acclaimed installation is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, and is a unique collaboration across art, science and technology - an epic scale model of the solar system designed by artist and children's author Oliver Jeffers, incorporating a 10km three-dimensional sculpture trail. The project also includes an interactive AR app, and learning and events programmes. The trail will run until August 29.
From creating a star to writing a symphony for the universe, inventing a new form of transport, building a Minecraft planet or connecting with space watchers around the globe, Our Place in Space invites participants to consider how we might better share and protect our planet in future and what is the difference between 'us' and 'them'? It is designed to help viewers find new perspectives and reconsider what it means to live life on Earth.
Executive Producer, David Lewissaid: "We're really excited to work with partners on the ground to help tour the sculpture trail to Cambridge and to bring the world of Oliver Jeffers to new audiences. Over two years in the making, Our Place in Space is a remarkable piece of work that combines science and art and has been thrilling children and adults alike in Northern Ireland, and this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of Northern Ireland talent across the UK."
The trail is accompanied by the Our Place in Space augmented reality app which is available on Apple and Android devices and allows users across the world to take a walk through our solar system, experiencing the planets in augmented reality and considering 10,000 years of human history on earth. Users will collect space souvenirs, including characters from the world of Oliver Jeffers, as well as launching a personalised star into space.
There are opportunities for local people to become a Trail Guardian or volunteer while the trail is in Cambridge, helping enhance and support visitors' experience of the trail and to assist with events and programming. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.