Illuminate: How Science Comes to Light

Image: Museums Victoria, Illuminate.

Image: Museums Victoria, Illuminate: How Science Comes to Light.

Illuminate is a brand new exhibition exploring the science behind the fastest traveller in the universe – light.

Ignite the senses and learn through hands-on interactive play. What is light, what can we do with it and how do we see?

In this vibrant festival-themed exhibition you will explore visual perception and illumination through colour, sound and action.

Expect to explore visual perception and illumination through colour, sound, and action. Learn how light behaves, where it comes from, how it reflects and refracts, and what tools we’ve invented to understand it.

Compose a luminous symphony and mix light to create a field of colour. Manipulate mirrors and encounter surprising views of yourself as you navigate through a series of warped reflections. And dance to the drumming beats of the invisible laser sensor chamber.

Bend light, blend colour, dance with shadows, and transform reflections. With an array of open-ended interactive exhibits, magnify, mix, animate, draw, design, and compose – all with light!

The exhibition is divided into six zones, including: 

The Refractory: Use tools that bend light to make things appear bigger or closer so that we can see things better. 

Sensor Sonic: Dance through sensors to make percussive  beats, spin dials to program music with colour and scan barcodes to create your own soundscape. 

Wonder Vision: Disappear behind an invisibility shield and find out how our eyes see by playing with a simple camera that turns everything upside down. 

Chroma Zone: Mix assorted colours by adding or removing parts of the visible light spectrum. 

Light & Shade: Light travels in a straight line and when it is blocked, a shadow is cast. Grab your friends and family, get up on stage and dance with shadows. 

Mirror Mirror: Create patterns of colour with a giant kaleidoscope and experiment with your appearance using a mix of image-morphing mirrors. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What ages are best suited for this exhibition?

This exhibition is designed for families with children aged 6 -10 years old, however there are many colourful exhibits at a range of heights which may be suitable for younger siblings.

Younger children may need support from parents and carers (or older siblings) to take full advantage of some of the interactives and understanding what to do in the spaces.

Does it cost to enter the exhibition?

No. Entry to this exhibition, and both the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk and the Art Gallery at Royal Park is free.

To plan your day out at QVMAG, view our full range of programs and exhibitions on offer here.

Where is this exhibition on display?

This exhibition is on display with free entry at the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk, located at 2 Invermay Launceston. 

Entry to the Museum is via the large-scale yellow entry path, as shown below:


Image 1: entry way to the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk within the Inveresk Precinct. 

Entrance to the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk.

Image 2: entry doors to the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk, located within the Inveresk Precinct. 

Can I book a group tour to this exhibition?

To enquire about group visits to this exhibition, please contact the QVMAG booking team via

Is this exhibition on display anywhere else in Tasmania?

This exhibition is exclusively on tour to Tasmania at QVMAG.

Do I need to book to visit this exhibition?

No. Visitors are not required to book a time to enjoy this exhibition. QVMAG is open daily from 10am to 4pm.

Visitors are encouraged to view our holiday opening hours here.

Does this exhibition have flashing or flickering lights?

There aren't any flashing or flickering lights in this exhibition. However, four of the interactive modules do have light elements. This includes:

  • Shadow Stage - this module has some slowly colour changing lights.

  • Inverse Eyeverse - this module has some static neon lights on the wall.

  • Colour Connections - this module has coloured lights that visitors can manipulate.

  • Pixel Mixer - this module has brightly backlit panels that visitors hang transparent coloured plastic chips on to create patterns.


Museum at Inveresk

18 November 2023 – 28 April 2024

This exhibition is now closed.


This is a touring exhibition by Museums Victoria.

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