In the first of a new series, Clare is in Derry-Londonderry to meet the celebrated children’s author and artist, Oliver Jeffers. As part of a free nationwide arts project called Unboxed, he’s created a 10 kilometre sculpture trail, designed as a scale model of the solar system. It starts at Bay Road Park and runs alongside the River Foyle. The trail, ‘Our Place in Space’, is there until 22 May 2022 before moving to Belfast, Cambridge, and the North Down Coastal Path.
Oliver says he’s a ‘pretty serious rambler’: he walked everywhere when he lived in New York City, and once led three-day hikes in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York.
Explaining his inspiration for the project, he says: “If we could look back at Earth from the vastness of the solar system, what would we feel? Wouldn’t squabbles look stupid from Saturn? Wouldn’t violence seem senseless from Venus? Forget about ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, from the perspective of Pluto, it’s just US!”
Oliver Jeffers collaborated with the Nerve Centre and Professor Stephen Smartt of Queen’s University Belfast to design the trail which has its own free interactive App to download.
Grid Ref for their starting point: NV 611 818
Presenter: Clare Balding
Producer for BBC Audio in Bristol: Karen Gregor