First it was the moon, now it’s back down to earth as an amazing artwork of our planet goes on display in Peterborough Cathedral.
Known as Gaia, the artwork by Luke Jerram, who brought us the awe inspiring Museum of the Moon last year is now set to exhibit here again from Monday August 19 to Sunday September 15.
Measuring seven metres in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the earth’s surface*. The artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three-dimensions.
The installation, which will hang under the central tower of the Cathedral, creates a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
The 3D installation will rotate once every four minutes, 360 times faster than our real planet. During evening opening times a specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning composer Dan Jones will be played, and the lighting of the piece shown to full advantage as dusk falls.
The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the earth’s surface. By standing 211m away from the artwork, you’ll be able to see the Earth as it appears from the moon.
The Museum of the Moon, which was shown at the Cathedral in October last year, attracted an estimated 40,000 visitors.
Luke Jerram said – “I was amazed and delighted that so many people came to see Gaia’s sister artwork Museum of the Moon when it was in Peterborough last year. This time visitors will be able to see the Earth as if from space; an incredibly beautiful and precious place. An ecosystem we urgently need to look after – our only home.
“Halfway through the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, we urgently need to wake up, and change our behaviour. We need to quickly make the changes necessary, to prevent run away Climate Change. There really is no Planet B!”
The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said – “We are very excited to be able to exhibit this extraordinary work. The Museum of the Moon was a compelling installation and having this beautiful representation of our precious planet in Peterborough Cathedral promises to be an unforgettable experience. The planned programme of events alongside the exhibition will offer opportunities both for fun and for learning not least about the critical environmental issues we face.”
A programme of themed events will take place whilst Gaia is on display at the Cathedral, including activities for schools when they return from holidays in September. Details will be announced soon.
Gaia will be open to the public free of charge during normal Cathedral visiting times. A series of special evening openings will show the artwork in its full glory with the accompanying soundtrack. The evening entry charge is £2 per person or £6 for a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children). Booking opens online soon.
For full details of the events programme, opening times and to book evening tickets, please visit: www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/gaia
Photo: Gaia with artist Luke Jerram courtesy of Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)