Media museum’s ambition to take on the world

British astronaut Tim Peake with the Russian Soyuz capsule which carried him and his crew to and from the International Space Station. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
British astronaut Tim Peake with the Russian Soyuz capsule which carried him and his crew to and from the International Space Station. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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A major new £1.8m gallery aims to bring more than 20 new exhibits to Bradford, including the UK’s first permanent ‘Time Twister’ screen, which creates images separating visitors’ heads from their body. There will be a waterfall which appears to hover in mid-air, a 6ft sphere with animations of the sun and earth, self-portrait photos timed to the exact moment a water drop splashes, and a musical laser tunnel designed by Bradford-based artists Steve Manthorp and Shanaz Gulzar. It will also feature live, interactive shows in the new 70-capacity theatre.

Bradford’s National Media Museum, housing a treasure trove of exhibitions and displays, has for decades been associated with its focus on photography, film and television.

Now, as it secures a major coup for the region and launches a £1.8m gallery, it cements a new focus by revealing its name is to be changed to the National Science and Media Museum.

“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 museum director Jo Quinton-Tulloch. “We want to draw in new visitors, encourage existing ones to come more often and open a whole new chapter for the museum.”

Among the announcements revealed today are details of a major £1.8m Wonderlab gallery, and news that Tim Peake’s Soyuz craft is coming to Bradford this autumn.

The gallery Wonderlab, to be unveiled with an opening family weekend on March 25 and 26, reflects the museum’s renewed focus on the science behind the magic of media.

Japanese artist Akinori Goto installing his 3D zoetrope

Japanese artist Akinori Goto installing his 3D zoetrope

Exhibits will include an anti-gravity mirror and a musical laser tunnel, one of the world’s first 3D-printed Zoetrope installations, echo tubes and a ‘time-twister’ screen.

The museum has also confirmed 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.

This exhibition, coming in September, will be the first time the vessel has travelled outside of London since it was acquired by the Science Museum Group in 2016.

“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,” said Ms Quinton-Tulloch.

7 March 2017......    Jo Quinton -Tulloch dirctor at the National Media Museum by the new multi-million pound exhibition 'Wonderlab' to be unveiled at the Bradford attraction. Picture Tony Johnson.

7 March 2017...... Jo Quinton -Tulloch dirctor at the National Media Museum by the new multi-million pound exhibition 'Wonderlab' to be unveiled at the Bradford attraction. Picture Tony Johnson.

“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 fulfil that promise.

“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.”

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire has an amazing selection of national museums and we are delighted to see this one launching a cutting edge new gallery giving visitors yet another reason to choose Yorkshire.”