Liverpool has been announced as an additional stop on the UK tour of Our Place in Space, a recreation of the solar system as a stunning 8.1 km sculpture trail designed by artist Oliver Jeffers, astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt and a creative team led by Nerve Centre.
Following popular visits to Derry-Londonderry, Belfast and Cambridge during 2022, where it has been experienced by more than 300,000 people, the trail will touch down in the city from 14 October to 6 November, before returning to Northern Ireland in February 2023 at the Ulster Transport Museum.
Beginning on Church Street in the heart of the city centre and running along the riverside all the way to Otterspool, Our Place in Space is free to visit and features scale models of the Sun and planets, recreated as contemporary art sculptures. Colourful arches house each planet with an arrow and the name of the planet lit up in Las Vegas style lights.
At a scale of 591 million to one, the Sun is 2.35 metres across, Earth is 2.2 centimetres and Pluto just 4 millimetres. The Our Place in Space trail will run until 6 November with events and creative education programmes taking place across the city.
Our Place in Space, part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, invites participants to consider how we might better share and protect our planet in future and what is the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’? The project aims to bring our solar system down to Earth and send us soaring into the stars to find new perspectives and reconsider what it means to live life on our planet.
The trail is accompanied by the free Our Place in Space augmented reality app, available on Apple and Android, which allows users across the world to take a journey through the solar system, experiencing the planets in augmented reality and considering 10,000 years of human history on Earth. On the trail, users are invited to collect space souvenirs, including characters from the world of Oliver Jeffers, as well as launch a personalised star into space.
Oliver Jeffers, internationally renowned artist and author said:
“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?”
Our Place in Space has been designed by Oliver Jeffers with leading astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt and a creative team led by Nerve Centre, Northern Ireland’s leading creative media arts centre. Local partners helping to bring Our Place in Space to Liverpool include Culture Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID Company and Canal & Riverside Trust.
Our Place in Space in Liverpool coincides with the launch of a new children’s book by Oliver, Meanwhile Back on Earth (HarperCollins). Inspired by the themes of Our Place in Space and available from 4 October, the book features a father who takes his two squabbling children on a journey into space to show them what binds us together matters more than what might set us apart. Oliver will be signing copies of his new book at Waterstones, College Lane, Liverpool on Saturday 15 October at 12 noon.
David Lewis, Executive Producer at the Nerve Centre, said:
“We are thrilled by the reaction that Our Place in Space has received during its tour of the UK in 2022 and delighted to announce Liverpool as an additional destination for the trail. Bringing the installation to the north west of England will give more people the chance to get involved, to learn about space and to experience the unique world and creativity of Oliver Jeffers.”
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:
“We are delighted that UNBOXED have chosen Liverpool as the final stop for Our Place In Space this year. As the solar system takes over our city centre we are celebrating the return of our major festival River of Light, welcoming the World Gymnastic Championships 2022 and are the centre of the art world as Tate Liverpool plays host to The Turner Prize. Liverpool is the only place to be this Autumn for brilliant, free entertainment.”
Our Place in Space is one of 10 major creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK this year. UNBOXED features free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences in the UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration.
Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, said:
“Our Place in Space has been hugely popular in the three locations that it’s already been to, so we’re very excited that Liverpool is to be an additional destination. Oliver Jeffers’ sculpture trail is a wonderful way to explore our solar system here on Earth. It will appeal to families, joggers, walking groups and cyclists, and will be another great reason to visit Liverpool this autumn.”
There are opportunities for local people to become trail guardians while the trail is in Liverpool, helping enhance and support visitors’ experience. For more information visit www.ourplaceinspace.earth.