Boasting panoramic views of Belfast and beyond, the 8.5 km, 3D sculpture trail will animate the spectacular landscape of boglands and boardwalks until 10 July.
Designed by Northern Ireland illustrator and author Oliver Jeffers in conjunction with astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt and a creative team led by Nerve Centre, Our Place in Space is the flagship commission of UNBOXED: Creativity in Northern Ireland.
The Trail features scale models of our solar system's planets and the Sun; recreated as contemporary art sculptures -– an arch houses each planet with an arrow and its name as a giant illuminated sign above it. The spectacular heathland landscape of Belfast is a marked contrast to the River Foyle where the trail launched in April, and gives a unique sense of distance and whole new perspective on the surrounding landscape, the world around us and the stars above.
A free augmented reality app will be available to enhance the experience of the trail and explore the planets further and can be downloaded from Apple and Google Play store by searching Our Place in Space.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s opening David Lewis, Executive Producer with Our Place in Space said:
“We are really looking forward to bringing the installation to Belfast for the first time along with a full programme of exceptional events. Over 50,000 people visited the trail while it was in Derry~Londonderry which highlights the great interest there is in a project that combines art and science. Across Northern Ireland over 7,500 people have taken part in the Our Place in Space events programme and over 3,000 children and young people have enjoyed tours and creative workshops.”
Jenny Ferguson, General Manager at National Trust Belfast said:
“Sitting in the Belfast hills, Divis and the Black Mountain is the epitome of the great urban green space. With its panoramic views over the city and beyond, it provides the perfect location for a creative sculpture trail which explores our solar system and our place on the planet. We have been delighted to work in partnership with so many talented minds to make this possible. As Our Place in Space animates the blanket bog and boardwalk on this outstanding landscape, we hope it will allow more people to connect with nature and consider how we can protect our planet in the future.”
The arrival of the trail marks a month-long programme of events in Belfast which includes talks, music performances and film screenings. The Our Place Festival takes place at venues across Belfast and will feature guest appearances from major names in science, music, film and the arts including Nobel prize-winning cosmologist Brian Schmidt, DJ David Holmes, health advocate Chelsea Clinton and Academy nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan and The Wrestler fame.
Divis and the Black Mountain will also host a special event to mark the summer solstice on 21 June with an evening of sound, film and performance and visitors to the sculpture trail will be able to take part in nature walks and nature circus performances.
Our Place in Space has partnered with Translink to offer a free shuttle bus to and from Divis and the Black Mountain from locations in Belfast. A branded Our Place in Space bus will stop at four locations along the way giving visitors easy, hassle-free access to the trail.
The Trail will run from 11 June – 10 July before heading to Cambridge in August and returning for a final time to the North Down Coast path in September. The Our Place festival during June and July at selected venues across the City. For more information and to get free tickets see www.ourplaceinspace.earth