The week St Albans Cathedral travelled through space
PUBLISHED: 12:26 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:26 04 November 2019
Over 20,000 people travelled to the stars and back as part of St Albans Cathedral’s spectacular son-et-lumiere Space Voyage.
Produced by Artistic Collaboration Luxmuralis in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings and Neil Armstrong's landmark steps, the stunning installation saw the facade of the Cathedral transformed into a visual journey to the edge of the Milky Way and beyond.
Luxmuralis artistic director Peter Walker explained: "It has been wonderful to see so many people of all ages come to see art in the Cathedral and embrace the journey to the edge of the universe and back. It has been especially moving to see people playing on the Moon and staring back at the image of the Earth revolving.
"Space Voyage is not just a light show, it's an installation of son-et-lumiere outside, and multiple films, artworks, light and sound installations inside, that together create an abstract journey around the interior of St Albans Cathedral, reanimating vast areas of the magnificent architecture."
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The Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev'd Dr Jeffrey John, said: "Cathedrals were built to give people a sense of awe and transcendence. So the cathedral is a perfect place for an installation like Space Voyage, which created such a vivid awareness of the mysterious vastness and overwhelming beauty of the universe."
As well as the Space Voyage son-et-lumiere, the Cathedral hosted a range of space-themed events throughout the week. Hundreds attended a special Mass on the Moon to launch Space Voyage and were invited to stand on a mocked-up surface of the satellite and receive Holy Communion, just as Buzz Aldrin did in the lunar module before taking those first, historic steps.
Other events included a cosmic organ recital 'Play Among the Stars' with music from famous sci-fi movies; Daleks invaded the Cathedral with a talk on Doctor Who; the learning team explored the themes of science and religion, and the search for habitable planets at a series of talks; and hundreds of children explored the Cathedral on a special space themed trail 'To the Trinity and Beyond!'
The reaction to St Albans Cathedral's week in space has been overwhelming with hundreds of posts across social media channels and emails:
"What an amazing experience at St Albans Cathedral. I have never seen anything like it, the kids were in awe."
"It was a very inspiring event and such a creative way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings. The whole family had a fantastic evening."
Space Voyage follows on from the huge success of last year's Poppy Fields installation by Luxmuralis at St Albans Cathedral. The installation artwork transformed the sacred space of the Cathedral with sound and light artworks, sculpture and poetry.