Solar System Sculpture Trail to open in Cambridge

A 10km-long solar system sculpture trail will stretch from the heart of Cambridge to Waterbeach this summer, titled Our Place in Space.

Stretching from Midsummer Common in the center of Cambridge and following the river to the Woodland Trust’s Cow Hollow Wood in nearby Waterbeach, the epic scale model reflects the size of each scaled planet and the distance between them. separates, starting with the Sun. He arrives in Cambridge after extremely successful installations in Derry and Belfast.

Our Place in Space: Model of the Sun (57398474)

The free sculpture trail was designed by children’s author and artist Oliver Jeffers with support from renowned astrophysicist, Professor Stephen Smartt.

Oliver Jeffers says, “For centuries we have defined ourselves by who we are and who we are not. Which side we choose, on which ground we stand, for whom and for what we fight. A human story, which lives only in human minds. But with distance comes perspective – and what happens to our perspective on everything when we look at Earth from space? Our place in space is a playful experience that asks: what is the difference between “us” and “them”? Which side are we on, and if we look at each other from the vastness of outer space – alone on our small planet, the only one that can support life – should there be “sides”?

Our place in space: an illustration of what the trail will look like (57398472)
Our place in space: an illustration of what the trail will look like (57398472)

Prior to the opening of the trail in Cambridge, organizers worked with partners on the ground in Cambridge, such as the Cam Conservators navigation authority, Cambridge City Council and University of Cambridge, to make the trail a reality. Alongside the trail, a program of launch events will enliven downtown July 30-31 with interstellar tours, STEAM activities, stargazing, live musical performances and film screenings. The critically acclaimed installation is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, and is a unique collaboration between art, science and technology – an epic model of the solar system designed by artist and children’s author Oliver Jeffers, incorporating a three-dimensional sculpture of 10 km Track. The project also includes an interactive AR application and learning and event programs. The route will continue until August 29.

Our Place in Space: Trail will run from Midsummer Common to Waterbeach (57398489)
Our Place in Space: Trail will run from Midsummer Common to Waterbeach (57398489)

From creating a star to writing a symphony for the universe, inventing a new means of transport, building a Minecraft planet or connecting with observers of the space from around the world, Our Place in Space invites participants to reflect on how we can better share and protect our planet in the future and what is the difference between “us” and “them”? It is designed to help viewers find new perspectives and reconsider what it means to live life on Earth.

Executive Producer, David Lewis, said: “We are truly delighted to be working with partners on the ground to help take the sculpture trail to Cambridge and bring the world of Oliver Jeffers to new audiences. Over two years in the making, Our Place in Space is a remarkable work that combines science and art and has thrilled children and adults alike across Northern Ireland, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the very best talent from Northern Ireland across the UK.”

View of Divis and Black Mountain, National Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Sculpture Trail was previously located (57398504)
View of Divis and Black Mountain, National Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Sculpture Trail was previously located (57398504)

The trail is accompanied by the augmented reality app Our Place in Space which is available on Apple and Android devices and allows users around the world to walk around our solar system, experience planets in augmented reality and consider 10,000 years of human history on earth. Users will collect memorabilia from space, including characters from the world of Oliver Jeffers, and launch a personalized star into space.

There are opportunities for locals to become a trail keeper or volunteer while the trail is in Cambridge, helping to enhance and support the trail visitor experience and assist with events and programming. For more information, email [email protected]


Arline J. Mercier