Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram


Published 30 September 2022 at 4:05pm

One of the most important arts and culture festivals held in South Yorkshire this year, was We Wonder Noir, which was held at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham in March and funded by the South Yorkshire Mayor’s ARG Arts & Culture fund.

The event was centred around the theme ‘Listen’, with a series of modern art installations in Wentworth Woodhouse’s magnificent State Rooms.

Artists included:

  • Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram – Measuring seven metres in diameter, the moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.
  • Neon Horse by Patrick Murphy – A new neon artwork inspired by the famous painting of the racehorse, Whistlejacket, by George Stubbs.
  • The Mute Still Air by Ed Carter – This new installation is inspired by the shared coal-mining history of Wentworth and Elsecar, featuring a score by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
  • The Sun Shines on the Fallen Tree by Pif Paf Theatre – A brand-new sound and light exhibition, inspired by the rampant, beautiful and exciting new life in the clearing of a wood.
  • Chinese Laundry by Tala Lee – A short dance film exploring the act of listening to stories passed down through families.
  • Anima by James Lockey & Andy Seward – An immersive visual and light exploration into the unheard sonic soul of Wentworth Woodhouse.
  • Utterance on Screen by Helen Mort & James Lockey – A film and poem capturing the experience of the COVID crisis through the voices of South Yorkshire’s cared for elderly and their carers.

Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram - Measuring seven metres in diameter, the moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.

Kate Brindley, Director of Arts, Culture and Heritage at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “We Wonder Noir has been a huge success at Wentworth Woodhouse, attracting a wide audience and showcasing some of the amazing talent we have in this region. It combined a fantastic setting with some really amazing visual and audio artistry that really did capture people’s imaginations. The artists really did pull out the stops to make this an event to inspire and remember!”

The programme for WE Wonder placed a strong emphasis on participation rather than passive viewing, with many activities designed for families and performances that invited audiences to interact with the performers.

The event also included a cultural range of the activities, with performances by Yemeni and African young people’s dance groups and involvement from Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance (REMA), the support network for the Black and Minority Ethnic 13 Voluntary and Community Sector in Rotherham.

Julie Edwards & Ron Thompson from 'Planet Art', one of the artists at the event, said: “Working with WE Wonder has been a great experience. We have worked at festivals all over the world and all the incarnations of WE Wonder have been amazing. It has the sense of an international festival but with a real local feel.”

Mark Tillotson said: “The We Wonder Noir installation allowed our artists to explore new ideas, learn about their local history, improve their prop making skills, learn about new equipment used in the theatre and film industries, experiment with audio and express their creativity through story writing.”

A We Wonder Noir visitor said: “The chapel experience was amazing, the kind of installation that you wanted to stay in for a while to absorb the full effect of the lights and music. The music was amazingly good for accompanying the light show.”

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About SYMCA Arts, Culture & Heritage South Yorkshire offers a fantastic quality of life with a thriving arts, culture and heritage sector. The region is the UK’s leading destination for people seeking town and city culture, music, art and historic stately homes.

We’re home to the biggest theatre complex outside of London, we have a wealth of historic stately homes and museums within South Yorkshire, including Wentworth Woodhouse, Brodsworth Hall and Cannon Hall, plus museums at Experience Barnsley, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Kelham Island, Magna Science Adventure Centre and the Millennium Galleries.

We are a region that is proud to play a role on the global stage. We host numerous local, national and international events every year, contributing hugely to our residents’ well-being and to the vibrancy of the region’s towns and city centre.

Culture is a priority for our region as we continue to build on the potential of our outstanding natural, heritage, cultural and artistic assets and people both in urban and rural areas.

The Culture, Arts and Heritage (CAH) sector in South Yorkshire; makes a substantial contribution to the local economy, generating £200m GVA and employing 6,400 people. It has significant wider economic and social benefits including supporting tourism, creative industries, health, education, community and individual wellbeing. These contribute at least a further £170m to the local economy and £1.2bn in individual wellbeing.

However South Yorkshire’s arts, culture and heritage sector receives much less public funding from both central and local government than comparable city regions. The sector has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic but is well placed to play an important role in the economic recovery plan and deliver those significant economic and social benefits. To support the sector, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority in 2021 made £1m funding available for the arts, culture and heritage sector, which is being distributed by South Yorkshire’s local authorities. The funding will help generate more cultural events, activities or projects, with some businesses potentially eligible for micro grants.

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Last Updated: 30/09/2022

Published In: Arts, Culture, Heritage