Longitude Punk’d: Steampunks take over the Royal Observatory Greenwich

10 April 2014–4 January 2015
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, fact and fiction.

10 April 2014–4 January 2015

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, 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 Döktor, 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.

Exhibition information for visitors:

Venue:   Royal Observatory Greenwich
Dates:   10 April 2014–4 January 2015
Opening times:    every day, 10.00–17.00
Visitor enquiries:   020 8858 4422 / www.rmg.co.uk
Admission:   Charges apply, please see www.rmg.co.uk for details

Notes to Editors:

  • The Royal Observatory Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian, and one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. Since its founding in 1675, Greenwich has been at the centre of the measurement of time and space. Visitors can stand in both the eastern and western hemispheres simultaneously by placing their feet either side of the Prime Meridian line. Today the Observatory galleries and Peter Harrison Planetarium help unravel the extraordinary phenomena of time, space and astronomy.
  • The Royal Observatory Greenwich is part of Royal Museums Greenwich which also incorporates the National Maritime Museum, the 17th-century Queen’s House and Cutty Sark. Royal Museums Greenwich works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people. This unique collection of attractions, which form a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes over 1.5 million British and international visitors a year and is also a major centre of education and research.
  • Longitude Punk’d is part of the Longitude season at Royal Museums Greenwich, together with the National Maritime Museum’s major exhibition, Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude opening on 15 July 2014 and From Stars to Satellites at the Royal Observatory Greenwich Astronomy Centre opening on 8 March 2014.

For further information or images, please contact:
Rhianon Davies or Sheryl Twigg, Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office
Tel: 020 8312 6545 / 6790 | 07983 512 841 or Email: press@rmg.co.uk