HomeNewsDorset Moon – a resounding success

Dorset Moon – a resounding success



Friday 28 – Sunday 30 June, St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 July, Sherborne Abbey
Friday 12 – Sunday 14 July, Nothe Fort, Weymouth 
Free Event

On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the first Moon landing, the Dorset Moon summer arts event has been an incredible success.

Over June and July 2019 more than 41,000 people enjoyed Luke Jerram’s monumental Museum of the Mooninstallation in three stunning locations – St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth; Sherborne Abbey and the Nothe Fort at Weymouth.

In a unique collaboration between three Dorset arts festivals – Inside Out Dorset Festival (produced by Activate Performing Arts), b-side and Bournemouth Arts by the Sea – each location where Dorset Moon was presented also featured a full supporting programme of cultural activities and performances named ‘Under The Moon’ many of the pieces were commissioned especially for Dorset Moon. All events were free to enter.

News about Dorset Moon and audience reaction to the three landings reached around the world with media reports in the USA, China and Germany.

“Dorset Moon far exceeded the expectations of the Dorset Festivals Consortium,” says Kate Wood, Executive and Artistic Director of Activate. “All three festivals are profoundly energised by the response from the public and the quality of the artistic work. The international reach online has highlighted our county as a place where truly extraordinary events take place.  It has been a delight to present the work and partner with such a great set of iconic venues and a wonderful team.”

Alan Rogers, Executive Director of b-side highlighted the diversity of the Dorset Moon audience and the programme that was attached Museum of the Moon, adding: “It’s amazing that one artwork, with a programme of supporting commissions and events, can be open to such a wide range of interpretation, from the happy vibe of a silent disco where the moon was used as a scenic backdrop, to a thought-provoking call to action to reduce our carbon footprint for the people taking part in Carrie Mason’s performative drawing ‘Pledge’, to families enjoying taking selfies supporting the moon, kids with that ‘oh wow!’ reaction and individuals using Museum of the Moon as a jumping off point for deeper contemplation, especially when the brighter, real moon was in the sky at the same time.”

In Sherborne the moon proved to be a catalyst for the wider community to stage a variety of additional events – some 400 people participated in interactive workshops run in partnership with The Paddock Project – and local businesses reported record sales over the weekend.

Dorset Moon attracted visitors from across the county and further afield with almost 10,000 people viewing the Bournemouth Moon, just under 18,000 at Sherborne Abbey and some 13,000 at the Nothe Fort.

The reaction has been incredibly positive. In a typical comment one person said: “So glad we made the effort to come. Rare to get a chance like this.”

And a couple visiting from Yorkshire said: “Will recommend the Museum of the Moon, it’s good for education and children.”

Director of Bournemouth Arts by the Sea, Andrea Francis adds: “Working in consortium with our partners from Inside Out Dorset and b-side has been a real pleasure, and Arts by the Sea was very happy to start the tour in Bournemouth. We are very grateful to St Peter’s Church for hosting us, and delighted that we could introduce thousands of visitors to this beautiful venue.

“It was wonderful to see people of all ages enjoying a quiet moment of reflection on their own, learning some moon-related facts in one of our fascinating talks, or enjoying a silent disco together under the moon.”

Dorset Moon was commissioned by the Arts Development Company with funding from European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England.


the Arts Development Company

ADC believe the arts can transform and change people’s lives for the better. They deliver creative projects with cross-sector partners, lobbying and influencing policy and strategy in the arts and supporting and developing the cultural infrastructure. Based in Dorset, they work nationally and across Dorset and the South West of England. They also work with UK networks and partnerships.


Activate and Inside Out Dorset
Inside Out Dorset is recognised across Europe for producing high quality international outdoor arts and specialising in siting work in the landscape as well as in its more urban locations in the programme. Produced by Dorset-based Activate Performing Arts, the festival seeks out and commissions extraordinary events in extraordinary places, transforming some of the county’s most remarkable landscapes with exceptional experiences – most of which are free to attend.


Bournemouth Arts by the Sea
The Arts by the Sea festival is Bournemouth’s annual celebration of culture, bringing an intriguing, exciting and carnivalesque mix of the arts to Bournemouth’s unique and beautiful locations. The festival aims to increase opportunities for people to participate in the arts and enhance a sense of community, while supporting talented artists creating work that makes a real impact on the audience and the town. Diverse music, art and dance, site-

specific installations and large-scale spectaculars are all key to this festival. Most events are family friendly and free to attend.


b-side is an internationally recognised and locally loved arts organisation, producing unique, innovative and pioneering projects that connect artists with people and place. b-side supports artists to make site-responsive artwork in collaboration with communities encouraging artists and audiences to be playful, curious and open-minded. There is a b-side festival every two years on Portland bringing new, unique art to audiences from Dorset and beyond and sharing incredible stories about the Isle of Portland with the rest of the world. As well as the festival b-side co-ordinates a year-round programme of projects for artists, young people and Dorset residents to help empower communities and individuals to experience and value creativity and its vital role within well-being, education, place making and the local economy. b-side is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.









Dorset Moon, a special website was created to present the latest news and events linked to Museum of the Moon. 

DORSET MOON was commissioned by the Arts Development Company with funding from Arts Council England and the European Regional Development Fund.

It was produced by the Dorset Festivals Consortium who are: Inside Out Dorset (produced by Activate), b-side and Bournemouth Arts By the Sea.



Seven new art and performance pieces formed part of the ‘Under The Moon’ events that complimented Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon in each location. 

All commissions were by artists based in the South, four of which are from Dorset and one a graduate of Arts University Bournemouth.

“Dorset Moon has presented a wonderful opportunity to commission new work from homegrown artists that will bring exciting new cultural experiences for residents and visitors alike” says Kate Wood, Executive & Artistic Director of Inside Out Dorset that is curating Dorset Moon in collaboration with Arts By the Sea and b-side festivals. She added “The new commissions are all different and from artists at varying stages of their careers. We are delighted that several Dorset-based artists are presenting work in the programme. We hope to create a different feel to each of the three locations.”  

The new commissions:

Laura Reid – Celestial Bodies

Experience this at Bournemouth and Weymouth venues.

Celestial Bodies is a soundtrack for the Dorset Moon. Transmitted by silent disco, the listener is taken on a sonic journey moving through ethereal soundscapes, words and beats.

 R&D Studio with Hemabharathy Palani – A Small Dream

 Experience this at Bourneouth, Sherborne and Weymouth venues.

The story of a tiny Indian robot bound for the moon. Each show will be different and each will work alone. But by viewing all three, you 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. Lost in space the lone traveller confronts her own dreams and upon landing a new reality. A Small Dream is inspired by India’s real lunar ambitions and the rover they have created. It combines outdoor theatre, dance and projection.

Discover more about A Small Dream here

Matilda Skelton-Mace – Earth Module

Experience this at Bournemouth, Sherborne and Weymouth venues.

A multifaceted dome structure inside an otherwise non-descript tent with room for one or two people. Using infinity mirror effects and subtle, organic lighting patterns to evoke the night sky, its form is inspired by the interior of the Apollo 11 lunar module. The work plays with scale in a way which complements the Museum of the Moon.

George Roberts – This Then Is The Moon

Experience this at Bournemouth, Sherborne and Weymouth venues.

Mounted on a steel plinth a battered VR headset inspired by Eugene Cernan’s Apollo 17 helmet – the last to view to view the Moon – houses a 150-second immersive digital experience that chronicles our ever-changing relationship with space.

Then This Is The Moon is made in collaboration with Visual Artist, Natasha Salkeld and Milliner, Immy Howard.

Helen Ottaway – Wind and Unwind

Experience this at Sherborne Abbey.

New work for musical box and voice by Helen Ottaway, performed by Helen Ottaway (musical box) and Melanie Pappenheim (voice). Part of a new Requiem she is writing in memory of her mother who died in 2017. Working with themes of absence and the movement of the tides; drawing on the traditions of English folk song and liturgical music and collaborating with singer Melanie Pappenheim she will unwind a ribbon of sound and movement, a homage to the moon in the beautiful setting of Sherborne Abbey.

Ra Zamora – Call of the Wild

Experience this in Bournemouth, Sherborne and Weymouth venues.

‘The Call of the Wild’ is a sound installation inspired by the Wolf howl. Ra Zamora intends to create a Primordial experience to transport people to the wild corners of their psyche, whilst feeling the life force and restorative effect of the male and female wolves howling alone and then merging together.

Carrie Mason – Pledge

Experience this at Bournemouth and Weymouth venues.

A short performance of collective drawing made by audience participation, Pledge is inspired by Neil Armstrong’s iconic words as the artist wearing hobnail boots takes repetitive small steps to crush Dorset lump charcoal into fine dust then pledging to reduce their carbon footprint before taking a giant leap onto an adjacent canvas and inviting the audience to follow suit. The total performance lasts one hour 57 minutes, the duration of the first moonwalk.

All events were free.

For further information please visit: www.dorsetmoon.com



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