Commissioned by UNBOXED: CreativityOur Place in Space is a project commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity Read More

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Press 7 February, 2022

Our Place in Space gets ready for launch

Our Place in Space, part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, is a unique collaboration across art, science and technology - an epic scale model of the solar system designed by artist and children’s author Oliver Jeffers, incorporating a 10km three-dimensional sculpture trail in Northern Ireland and Cambridge. The project also includes an interactive AR app, and major learning and events programmes. Our Place in Space is free and open to everyone and runs from 22 April to 16 October 2022.

Photograph of Oliver Jeffers and Stephen Smartt looking at small scale model of trail sculptures in an inside space, with white walls and a wooden floor.

From creating a star to writing a symphony for the universe, inventing a new form of transport, building a Minecraft planet or connecting with space watchers around the globe, Our Place in Space invites participants to consider how we might better share and protect our planet in future and what is the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’? It brings our solar system down to Earth and sends us soaring into the stars to find new perspectives and reconsider what it means to live life on Earth.

Our Place in Space has been designed by Oliver Jeffers with support from leading astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt. It has been produced by the Nerve Centre Collective and features music by award-winning sound artist Die Hexen. From April 2022, the trail will travel from Derry–Londonderry to Divis and the Black Mountain, Belfast and to the Ulster Transport Museum and North Down Coastal Path in Northern Ireland, as well as a riverside location in Cambridge.

The Our Place in Space app will be available on Apple and Android devices and will allow users across the world to take a walk through our solar system, experiencing the planets in augmented reality and considering 10,000 years of human history on earth. Users will collect space souvenirs, including characters from the world of Oliver Jeffers, as well as launching a personalised star into space.

“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?”

Oliver Jeffers, Artist

Our Place in Space is produced by Nerve Centre Collective, led by arts organisation the Nerve Centre and commissioned by UNBOXED with Belfast City Council. The collaboration behind the project includes the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, National Museums NI, NI Science Festival, Big Motive, Taunt, Microsoft, Jeffers & Son, Dumbworld, Live Music Now, Little Inventors, Cambridge University, the National Trust and Urban Scale Interventions.

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales and EventScotland.

“Our Place in Space embodies UNBOXED’s aims to bring people together and celebrate creativity through a project that is both fun and incredibly important in its aim for everyone to reflect on life on earth and their relationships with those whose beliefs may be different to their own. It opens our eyes to a better future of understanding and collaboration.”

Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK