The incredible floating art that lets you see Earth as astronauts do
An awe-inspiring sculpture of Planet Earth which aims to make us think about our world in a new way is coming to Warrington’s Cultural Quarter.
Luke Jerram’s floating three-dimensional artwork, Gaia, will be in Queens Gardens between 4 and 6 March. An imposing 7m in diameter, Gaia accurately depicts the Earth’s surface as it would be viewed from space using detailed NASA imagery.
Culture Warrington is again collaborating with world renowned artist Luke Jerram after he brought his hugely popular ‘Museum of the Moon’ – which has been seen by more than three million people in 25 countries – to Parr Hall in October 2019.
But unlike the Moon, which we have been gazing at for millennia, the first time humankind got to see Earth as a blue marble floating in space was in 1968 with NASA’s Apollo 8 mission.
For this project, Luke was commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council, the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres and Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot festival to communicate a sense of the fragility of our planet – and how urgently we need to protect it.
The thought-provoking installation will be made even more atmospheric thanks to a surround sound composition created by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones.
The sculpture got its name from Greek mythology in which Gaia is the personification of the Earth. Visitors will know what it is like for astronauts when they gaze at the planet with a new and profound understanding of the interconnection of all life.
It is hoped it will give people a renewed sense of purpose in taking care of the environment, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which has reminded us that we all have a responsibility toward one another.
As such, Gaia will also kick-start an environmentally themed month-long programme of events in partnership with the Warrington BID and Warrington Borough Council with full details to be announced in the coming weeks.
Leah Biddle, Cultural Manager at Culture Warrington, said: “I’m sure everyone will remember back in 2019 when Culture Warrington presented Luke Jerram’s other work, Museum of the Moon, at Parr Hall and the positive impact it had upon the town.
“So I am delighted to be able to present Gaia within Warrington town centre this March. Like last time, we aim to create a vibrant and inclusive programme surrounding the work that is unique to Warrington and accessible to all.”
The special event has been made possible thanks to the Welcome Back fund in partnership with Warrington Borough Council and Warrington BID. The Welcome Back Fund is money allocated to encourage the community to come back together safely as part of the UK’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19, and is funded through the European Regional Development Fund.
Amy Dawber, Warrington BID Manager, said: “We are delighted to be involved with Gaia coming to Warrington this spring. It ties in perfect with the environmental theme and events, which will be happening across Warrington town centre over the upcoming months.”
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing at Warrington Borough Council, added: “When Museum of the Moon made its debut at Parr Hall in 2019 we had some brilliant feedback and the installation itself was breath-taking.
“I’m delighted that the council is able to support this thought-provoking, three-dimensional artwork of Earth, our unique and magnificent home. I expect it will be just as popular – if not more so – than the Moon installation we hosted in 2019.”
Gaia will be in Queens Gardens between 4 and 6 March and will be free to view. The full programme and information on planning a visit will be announced shortly