Minister to launch the Museum of the Moon at Tintern Abbey

Thursday 10 May 2018

  • © Museum of the Moon — Luke Jerram

    © Museum of the Moon — Luke Jerram

  • © Museum of the Moon — Luke Jerram

    © Museum of the Moon — Luke Jerram

Lord Elis-Thomas, Minister for Culture Tourism and Sport, will be launching The Museum of the Moon, at Tintern Abbey on Monday 14th May at 6:30pm. 

Hot from the Commonwealth Games in Australia, The Museum of the Moon is a special collaboration between Cadw & the Wye Valley AONB Partnership, bringing this international artwork to Tintern Abbey (14th–20th May) as part of the Wye Valley River Festival

The Museum of the Moon is an amazing lunar art installation by international artist Luke Jerram. As night falls, a 7 metre wide fusion of lunar imagery and moonlight, suspended high in the ruins of Tintern Abbey, will be illuminated, accompanied by a surround sound composition from BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones. Using imagery from NASA, each centimetre of the sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:

“I'm delighted that Visit Wales and Cadw have been able to support this event which will be an added attraction to the exceptional atmosphere of Tintern Abbey. The Wye Valley is one of Wales' Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it's great to see this artwork attracting more visitors to this magical location. I look forward to seeing the moon appearing over Tintern Abbey on Monday.”

This isn’t the first time the moon has drawn visitors to the Abbey from far and wide, as the Tintern Abbey has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries.  After the Wye Valley railway opened in 1876 Tintern Abbey became a very fashionable destination, especially to see the harvest moon, rising through the Abbey’s rose window. It was a spectacle that attracted thousands of visitors in the 1880s.

The Museum of the Moon is just one of the artistic events taking place during the Wye Valley River Festival. The programme offers the chance to indulge in a spot of moon bathing amongst the Abbey’s romantic ruins, to take part in a pilgrimage walk to The Museum of the Moon, or engage in some philosophical moon gazing with Tintern Philosophy Circle who try to answer the question, ‘The Moon, what does it mean?’

The Wye Valley River Festival is an ambitious biennial festival inspired by the landscape and led by arts professionals collaborating with the people who live throughout the valley. It aims to inspire and challenge, to change the way we look at ourselves and how we see things, how we relate to our environment, our neighbourhoods and to each other. 

The festival is spearheaded by the Wye Valley AONB Partnership and has been funded by Arts Council England & Arts Council Wales, the Sustainable Development Fund, the Environment Agency, Forestry Commission England and Visit Wales and Cadw.  

Exploring the theme of Trees and Woodlands, the 2018 Wye Valley River Festival is rooted in the woodlands that define the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Almost 27% of the AONB is covered in trees, with woodland following the River almost continuously for 30 miles. The festival events are linked together through the festival show — ‘Heart to Hart’ — an arboreal fairy-tale that weaves through the programme. On May 12th the trees will be coming to town for a day of tree-mendous forest-focussed debates, talks, films, music and artistic installations at Monmouth’s Woodland Assembly in the Shire Hall, with a host of eminent speakers and experts on the subject of trees.

Download the Festival Programme at www.wyevalleyriverfestival.co.uk where you can also find timings and tickets.