Space and students come together in public opening of National Space Centre

Space and students come together in public opening of National Space Centre

A neon letter, invented as part of a language by sixth class students from Gaelscoil Mhainistir na Corann and fabricated in neon in San Jose by California artist Kevin Chong before being shipped back for exhibition at the National Space Centre. Picture: Kevin Chong

AN out-of-this-world exhibition, complete with a digital space launch, is due to take place at the National Space Centre (NSC) from December 3 to 5.

The secure facility outside Midleton is normally closed to be public but will be hosting the launch as part of an art exhibit addressing the challenging issue of space waste. A limited number of tours of the NSC will also be available to visitors booking tickets online.

The exhibition is the culmination of Ireland’s first Space Waste Residency, hosted by NSC neighbour Greywood Arts and funded by Cork County Council.

The selected artist in residence, Nicklas Lundberg, was chosen from almost 100 international applicants. The Swedish sculptor has worked in Greywood Arts’ studios throughout the month of November, utilising space junk found at the NSC together with sounds captured inside the site’s iconic 32-meter satellite dish. The result is an interactive installation that responds sonically to the proximity of the viewer, with which visitors will be able to interact.

The exhibition will also feature work from 110 local school students. As part of the project, sculptor Scott Gorham, Education Coordinator at Greywood Arts, has led young people through a series of world-building and sculpture workshops that explore language creation, geography, and ecological concepts like symbiosis. Participants used materials including waste circuit boards from the NSC, clay, and fabric to create topographies and symbiotic creatures.

“At the heart of this project is encouraging young people to use their imaginations to envision new worlds, in the hope they will apply their creativity to our own world and its future,” explained Gorham.

A sculptural installation will showcase a collective language of symbols designed by students and then fabricated in neon by Kevin Chong in San Jose, California, before being shipped back for exhibition at the National Space Centre. A digital media exhibition will display more of the project executed by the 110 young participants.

A special reception for the students will include a talk from the National Space Centre’s Chief Technical Officer, Bruce Hannah. The resident space engineer will teach guests about the NSC’s role in satellite technology, and demonstrate by using a satellite to send digital copies of the young artists’ projects into space.

Tickets for the exhibit and tours of the NSC are free but booking is essential:

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