A state-of-art £1.8m interactive gallery, a new name, and the arrival of astronaut Tim Peake’s spacecraft are among a series of major launches at the National Media Museum, Bradford, this year.
Set to become the ‘National Science and Media Museum’, to reflect its focus on the science behind the magic of photography, film and television, the museum unveils its new gallery ‘Wonderlab’ with an opening family weekend on 25th/26th March.
Featuring UK-firsts and breathtaking live shows, Wonderlab explores the science of light, sound and images through state-of-the-art exhibits – including some that can’t be seen permanently anywhere else in the world. Visitors will be able to see their body split from their head as they walk, hear their voices echo through a 15m-long tube, experience an anti-gravity mirror and a musical laser tunnel, and watch one of the world’s first 3D-printed Zoetrope installations.
The museum has also confirmed that it will host the world-famous Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that carried Major Tim Peake to the International Space Station (ISS) and back to earth. You will be able to see the spacecraft in September, when it travels outside London for the first time since it was acquired by the Science Museum Group in 2016.
“These announcements are not only incredibly exciting, but a significant statement of intent – that we are aiming to be one of the leading museums in the UK and worldwide”, said Jo Quinton–Tulloch, Museum Director. “The museum has a bright future and we are confident that people will be wowed by Wonderlab and its state-of-the-art exhibits, along with many other events.
“We want to draw in new visitors, encourage existing ones to come more often, and open a whole new chapter for the museum. Our collections across the technology and culture of photography, film and TV are unrivalled, and Wonderlab explores the science behind what makes these things magical in a very hands-on way.”
Wonderlab presents more than 20 mind-blowing, permanent exhibits including:
- UK’s first permanent ‘Time Twister’ screen, which separates head from body
- A waterfall that visitors appear to make hover in mid-air with their hands
- The world’s first permanent 3D-printed zoetrope by Japanese artist, Akinori Goto
- A 6ft sphere with spectacular animations of the sun and earth
- Self-portrait photos timed to the exact moment a water drop splashes
- A musical laser tunnel designed by Bradford-based artists Steve Manthorp and Shanaz Gulzar
“Changing our name to the National Science and Media Museum makes it clear what people can expect when they visit us and the plans we’re revealing fulfill that promise”, said Jo Quinton-Tulloch. “It is the start of our long term strategy to look at our core subjects differently and inspire the filmmakers, photographers, scientists and engineers of the future. Ultimately, our aim is to take our place among the top international museums and build on our status as a key part of British, Yorkshire and Bradford tourism.
“The arrival of Tim Peake’s spacecraft is a huge coup for us – the first time it can be seen in the UK outside of London. It was at the centre of one of the biggest broadcast events of 2016 and will be yet another reason for people to visit the museum when it goes on display later in the year.”
The new Wonderlab will also feature a series of immersive shows in the new 70-capacity theatre. Visitors will be part of spectacular experiments – from creating art together by drawing the universe with light and movement, to recreating the sound of a thunderstorm. Other interactive experiences include shooting smoke rings from giant air cannons using sound vibrations, the chance to explore an Egyptian pyramid with endoscope cameras, and exploding balloons with lasers.
Entry to the new gallery and entire museum is free. For more information see www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk
Link to Wonderlab TV and cinema advert:
Soyuz spacecraft at the Science Museum