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Lumen Crypt Gallery

St John On Bethnal Green

200 Cambridge Heath Road

London E2 9PA

Date and Time:

Friday 1st March: 12pm – 6pm

Saturday 2nd March: 12pm – 6pm

Sunday 3rd March: 12pm – 6pm

From Friday 1st March to Sunday 3rd March a unique immersive sensory experience is coming to London, allowing people to visit the planets in our solar system through the medium of smell, sight and sound.

Designed by Bompas & Parr for Virgin’s Live Life Better content series, the three-day exhibition, at Lumen, a gallery located in a crypt beneath St. John’s Church, Bethnal Green.

The experience, which combines sculptures from Lucy Hardcastle Studio and scents composed by Design in Scent, allows visitors to step inside a stylised planetarium where the planets of our solar system have been rendered in a highly sniffable sculptures, to an interplanetary soundscape conceived by Louise Beer and John Hooper and paired with sensorial visuals.

A Nose for Neptune

Just like when you step off a plane in a foreign country and marvel at the exotic smells, each planet's geology, chemical composition, meteorological conditions, temperature, light and sound will all determine its sensual and emotional effect on humans travelling through the solar system. Research devices have visited the surfaces of some planets such as Mars and Venus. This has given us accurate measurements of the thin atmosphere enveloping Mars (100 times less dense than Earths and almost entirely composed of CO2) and a good knowledge of the swirling clouds of sulphuric acid that surround Venus.

Other more distant planets are analysed by spectrometer, the planet’s light-signature giving scientists a clear understanding of its constituent elements. So we know about the weather of Jupiter where the lower atmosphere is under such great pressure it rains diamonds. For the launch Bompas & Parr will offer specially conceived drinks that pair with other planets.

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