Over the Moon. Why working on exhibitions that matter makes things exciting.
Although this was my first project for the Aga Khan Museum (AKM) since I started working at R&P, it’s not the first time I’ve worked with the AKM. The museum, and particularly their exhibition staff, are motivated in creating things that matter. They create exhibitions that are rich with history and knowledge and crafted with such care that they have an impact on human lives. My professional goal as an exhibition designer is to create experiences that enlighten people to the point where they can see the value of humanity’s diversity over time and our place on this earth. And this exhibition was a great opportunity to help manifest those ideals.
‘The Moon: A Voyage Through Time’ is a landmark exhibition, being the first museum exhibition to focus on the moon in Islam. The exhibit examines the role of the moon in the Islamic faith and spirituality, sciences and the arts, and its notions of beauty and power.
With a mix of historical artifacts, artworks, graphics, textures and even a real piece of the moon, the juxtaposition of Islamic history and contemporary art shines as visitors explore the exhibition. An undeniable highlight of this dynamic exhibit is the inclusion of a moon sculpture by British artist Luke Jerram. The massive sculpture of the moon hangs from the ceiling in an open space that connects the first and second floors of the museum. The replica of the moon measures five metres in diameter, providing a captivating and unique opportunity to get as close to ‘the moon’ as most of us ever will.
In an article for the CBC, co-curator Christiane Gruber commented on the positive response to the exhibit so far: “We’re thrilled to see so many families. There are groups of kids coming in. They are interacting with our astrolabes. They are interacting with our little digital film that shows a rabbit chasing the moon. They are using typewriters. They are looking through the craters.”
I am hopeful that some of these visitors found meaning for themselves. Because that matters. We’re pleased to see the effect The Moon is having on visitors and proud to have played a role in creating a ‘jovial, transcendental atmosphere’ for this landmark exhibition.