Image above: Gaia at Liverpool Cathedral for Liverpool City Council’s River Festival, 2019, by Gareth Jones
Following the successful Museum of the Moon exhibition in March 2022, Somerset West and Taunton (SWT) Council is delighted to announce that Luke Jerram’s sister sculpture, “Gaia”, will be coming to Taunton Minster in April 2023.
At seven metres in diameter and created from 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, the touring artwork “Gaia” provides the opportunity to see Earth floating in three dimensions.
Luke said: “I hope visitors to Gaia get 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.
“I was amazed and delighted that my Museum of the Moon artwork has been so popular. I’m fully aware that 10 million members of the public haven’t been coming to see an artwork by ‘Luke Jerram’, but rather ‘The Moon’: an object of universal appeal and cultural significance. With this Gaia Earth artwork, I’m interested in just how different the experience and interpretation will be. For our entire human existence, we have been gazing up at the moon and projecting all our hopes, dreams and wishes up there. Whereas it was only in 1968 that we were able to see our planet floating as a blue marble in space.”
In Greek Mythology, “Gaia” is the personification of the Earth, and the artwork has been made to communicate a sense of the fragility of the planet. It has been created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot Festival, and the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC).
Cllr Caroline Ellis, Executive Member for Culture, said: “I’m delighted that we’re able to bring the world-renowned Gaia to Taunton. We recognise the value of shared cultural experiences and their power to enrich lives and create opportunities for our residents, businesses, visitors and indeed to spark change.
“Taunton Minster is a wonderful space in which to experience the power of this incredible artwork up close. I’m sure it will inspire us all to reflect on the health of our planet and what we can urgently do to protect it.”
The exhibition will be free to see at Taunton Minster between 14 April and 1 May, which encompasses Earth Day on 22 April. A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer, Dan Jones, will be played alongside the sculpture, as well as a series of Earth and environmental inspired events hosted by the Minster.
Vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Tobie Osmond said: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting Luke Jerram’s Gaia Earth artwork at Taunton Minster following the incredible success of the Museum of the Moon.
“Somerset West and Taunton Council have been amazing to work with as we get this ready and we look forward to hosting the exhibition for all those who wish to see it.”
For times and further details of the exhibition, visit visitsomerset.co.uk/GAIA.