This Easter, Steampunks take over the Royal Observatory Greenwich showcasing fantastical inventions alongside real historic objects in an exhibition blurring the boundaries between art and science and fact and fiction.
Opening 10 April 2014, Longitude Punk’d celebrates the madcap inventors, star-gazing scientists and extremely elegant explorers of the past and delves into a world where sci-fi collides with 18th-century innovation. Royal Museums Greenwich has commissioned nine British Steampunk artists to create works inspired by the technical inventions that were presented to the Board of Longitude between 1714 and 1828. The Royal Observatory Greenwich will house specially created pieces by Steampunk luminaries Robert Rankin, Lady Raygun, Herr Döktor, Doctor Geof, Emilly Ladybird, Major Thaddeus Tinker, Lady Elsie, The Alchemist and Citizen Griffdawg.
Standing in the Meridian Courtyard and opening the door to the alternate realities of Longitude Punk’d is ‘The Globe of Dislocation’; all that remains from the crash of time-travelling airship ‘The Prime Landing’, devised to navigate between alternate universes. From there, step inside the Sir Christopher Wren-designed Flamsteed House, and discover the captivating array of Steampunk curiosities displayed throughout its grand, historic surroundings as guided by The Commodore – a character created by renowned novelist Robert Rankin. On display will be opulent and ornate apparel inspired by the night sky including gowns, headdresses, and a reimagining of Nevil Maskelyne’s noted silk observing suit; outlandish contraptions purporting to solve the Longitude problem; and fanciful submissions and whimsical illustrations presented to the Board of Longitude.
“For me it is an absolute honour to be chosen to exhibit my work at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and to exhibit it alongside such artistic luminaries as Dr Geof and Herr Doktor, whose work I deeply admire”, says prominent Steampunk novelist and illustrator Robert Rankin of the exhibition. “Am I pleased to be here? I am absolutely thrilled”.
To coincide with Longitude Punk’d, the Royal Observatory Greenwich will be hosting a dedicated events programme, including sci-fi screenings in the Peter Harrison Planetarium and an extravagant Steampunk ball.
Royal Museums Greenwich
Daily from 10am to 5pm