an outdoor video mapping project of the launch of a space rocket and its journey through space

Project aims:

Space Station Grantham will be an outdoor video mapping projection and sound installation with accompanying science activities outreach on the evening of Saturday 27th September 2014. The projection and sound installation will also take place on the opening night of the festival Wednesday 24th September. The event is designed to reach an audience of 10,000 with a high visual appeal to family and general audiences and to provoke interest and conversation about space science and space travel both amongst the audience and in the media.

Other astronomy/space themed creative activity with community participants will also be staged in the same location.

Using NASA imagery a space rocket will launch from the tower of St Wulfram’s Church, Grantham – by means of an evening long projection event repeating space rocket launch with accompanying soundtrack in 10 to 15 minute cycles.

The projection and soundscape will catch the attention of literally thousands of visitors (20,000 are expected on the 27th and at least half of these are expected to see this event).

This application is to support the work of the video mapping artist who will compile NASA images, the soundtrack and create the video mapping.

Once compiled the video will also be used alongside other space and astronomy events at the festival.


With Space Station Grantham we will offer a visual and sound event which imaginatively brings to life by means of a space rocket projection onto the church tower and accompanying activities. Aims include

1) For 10,000 people to see the projection and 50,000 to see media coverage and photographs of this specific event

2) For 400 young people to take part in outreach activities during the evening at the Space Station Grantham

3) To link and bring attention to space science and to the wider festival featuring astronomers, scientists speakers on CERN, dark matter, stargazing events and other aspects of physical science

4) To offer this event at an appropriate location to tell a wider story about Newton and his discoveries about the universe – Newton’s old schoolroom is still standing and adjacent to the church where this event will take place.

Summary of activity:

With Space Station Grantham we will offer a visual and sound event which imaginatively brings to life by means of a space rocket projection onto the church tower and accompanying activities.

The audience for Space Station Grantham over 2 evenings of the projection event came to a total of just over 10,000 people. Around 1,000 people saw the projection on Wednesday 24th September and around 9,000 to 10,000 on Saturday 27th September. The event was covered by ITV Calendar News (regional TV Yorkshire) on Weds 24th and by BBC Look North on Saturday 27th and by local newspapers.

Additional science activities for young people, families and adults, took place within St Wulfram’s and in the neighbouring King’s School Old Schoolroom. Over 2,000 people attended the physics activities rocket making (National Space Centre) and CERN Live (led by Trinity College Cambridge) during the Saturday evening in St Wulfram’s and a further 200 attended the indoor planetarium space activities in the adjoining King’s School where the National Space Centre were hosting.

The event acted as a high impact and very popular event attracting the attention of the outdoor audience and drawing them to this event and science activities in the buildings. This venue had been a focus of high quality science activity through the festival, including a Science Futures debate and two days of the CERN Live talks and exhibitions, including a two way video interview with Brian Cox. The space projections and accompanying soundscape seemed a particularly appropriate creative event to bring the science activity to the attention of the festival audience.

The project event took place with projections and soundscape of space rocket launch and journey on the side of the church facing Sir Isaac Newton’s old schoolroom with the science activities in that schoolroom and within the Church Building

We worked with video mapping artist Dan Shorten and students from the Guildhall School of Drama, to devise a creative projection event using video mapping and sound installation which turned St Wulfram’s Church Grantham into a Space Station, complete with its own rocket launch and space mission.

Evaluation approach:

We evaluated the project through

1) Writing a report based on events and feedback

2) collecting comments via social media, through press and audience reaction and through the number of visitors attracted to the event. We also took stills photographs and video for the event.

Here are some of the comments on twitter:-

GranthamJournal ‏@GranthamJournal: “Video: Rocket lifts off from Grantham’s St Wulfram’s Church as part of Gravity Fields: A spectacular light pro...”

Primetime Media ‏@primetime_media • “One of favourite exhibitions from the show so far, breathtaking image mapped projections at St Wulfram's Church,...”

Grace Williams @g_iwilliams “Great start, @Gravityfields fest. Science Futures discussion and psychedelic light projections on to St Wulfram's church. Feeling inspired!”

James Martin @jamescmartin13 “Had an excellent evening with the astronomers at @Gravityfields tonight, loved it, and brilliant light display.”

Sarah Stevens @SarahStevens19 “My favourite so far @Gravityfields #church #music #lights now waiting for #Colossus”

Vanessa @nessjjackson “#gravityfields #stwulframs projection display. Love it!”

Deborah Bull ‏@BullDeborah “St Wulfram's illuminated @Gravityfields #GravityFields2014 “

Deligne ICT ‏@deligneICT : Video: St Wulfram’s Church is alight! - Local - Grantham Journal

Ed Jepson ‏@EPJwednesday : “Check out this clip of last night's warm-up light animation spectacular at St Wulfram's Church #GravityFields “

Video of the event can be seen on youtube Space Station Grantham

What went well:

1. High impact space projection event with soundscape on church building

2. Really popular with audiences

3. Attracted a lot of audience to other physics events in the venue

What was learned:

1. The partnership with the video artist and his students were essential to its success

2. That while the video projection event was advertised because it was outdoors and bright and loud it was a hit of the festival by people who felt they had discovered it but the video does not do it justice

3. It physically drew people to the area of other science events but I would like the projection to be even more focussed on rocket launch and space station rather than flight into other areas of science

Top tips and advice for others

1. Don't underbudget for a video projection - it would have been even better with a more powerful projector

2. The stills photos were more successful than the video coverage

3. Big and bold is good to draw audience but the other activities gave the in depth part of the experience

About this project



Project type:

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Started (approximately):

July 2014

Ended: (approximately)

September 2014

Tags for this project:

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About the contributor

Rosemary Richards
Gravity Fields Festival

A festival in south Lincolnshire celebrating the area's connection with Sir Isaac Newton through science, arts and heritage events…

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