Cosmoscope Sculptural Pavilion



Cosmoscope is an interdisciplinary research project led by professor Nelson that will culminate in a monumental sculptural pavilion projecting animated imagery and sound in loops of patterns in perpetual evolution onto landmark buildings in Durham, November 2017. Taking its inspiration from growth patterns in nature and optical instruments, it draws on our ability to look into the invisible - from the infinitesimal to the infinite.  It will use the language of maps to explain our place in the universe.

Can contemporary art affect viewer perceptions of their place in the cosmos?

The work will be researched in collaboration with psychologist Monia Brizzi, Dr Simon Walthe Centre for Biomedical Imaging, UCL, The Ogden Centre for fundamental physics, Durham and the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford. It will be produced in collaboration with Artichoke, composer Rob Godman and software designer Nick Rothwell.

It looks at the cell as a unit of life within a wider context through questions such as: How does the molecular physics of the cytoplasm affect the biology of the cell? How is the human body and psyche affected by the cosmos?  How has plate tectonics affected the development of life on earth? How is earth and its life affected by our cosmic neighbours?

Cosmoscope will be produced  in partnership with London-based cultural agency Artichoke to produce a monumental sound and light sculpture, 'Cosmoscope', to be the centrepiece of the Durham Lumiere festival in 2017.

Simeon Nelson CosmoscopeDecember 2015 to December 2017

Project Partners

  • The Centre for Biomedical Imaging, UCL
  • The Ogden Centre for fundamental physics, Durham
  • The Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford

Cosmoscope is supported by Wellcome and produced by Artichoke.

Artichoke is a leading UK based arts charity and cultural event company.


  • Monia Brizzi, counselling psychologist
  • Nick Rothwell, software designer
  • Rob Godman, composer

Read more about:

Project Development


Holohedron maquette showing its scalar and dimensional geometries