Fly me to the Moon

Our Editor, Erica Crompton, explores a new moon installation at Durham Cathedral

This winter a trip to the ecclesiastical Durham Cathedral saw an art installation that is currently touring the UK. Luke Jerram’s artwork, Museum of the Moon, illuminated the high vaulted ceiling and colossal carved pillars of the Cathedral based in the North East.

At seven metres in diameter, the inflated moon installation is a fusion of 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface, moonlight, and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. Each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface, at an approximate scale of 1:500,000.

The Reverend Canon Charlie Allen says, “The moon looms large in the gifts of creation, the unsung backdrop of our daily lives. It reflects the sun bringing light to the darkness of night; its gravitational pull shapes the ebb and flow of the tides; its fullness defines the date of Easter. Here at Durham Cathedral, the moon’s presence reminds us of our ancient foundation as a place of pilgrimage – a place in which awe abounds as we reflect with perspective on our own lives and rejoice in the wonder of being part of God’s creation.”

Although the building of Durham Cathedral commenced in 1093, today it’s been made accessible to wheelchair users, although the push to the top of the hill where the cathedral sits is tough on the lungs. As a person with experience of psychosis I also found the Museum of the Moon to be enormously relaxing to sit under – it felt meditative, but it was also nice I could enjoy it with Paul in his wheelchair.

Accessibility of the Museum of the Moon artwork is intended, too, as Luke Jerram tells Hopezine: “From my perspective I try to make artwork that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

Find more information at or to find where the Museum of the Moon is on next visit

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