Announcements    17th June 2024

Luke Jerram’s Gaia to Transform Bristol Cathedral this Autumn

Our Home Planet: Up Close and Personal with Planet Earth.

Luke Jerram’s Gaia to Transform Bristol Cathedral this Autumn

Our Home Planet
Up close and personal with planet Earth: Luke Jerram’s Gaia to transform Bristol Cathedral this Autumn 

The impressive installation will illuminate the Cathedral from Tuesday 15th October to Saturday 9th November, alongside an exhibition and an extensive programme of events 

Bristol Cathedral will be hosting Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram’s touring artwork, Gaia, for a special four-week-long series of events. Including a performance of Hayden’s Creation and the soundtrack from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet – as performed by Bristol Ensemble – the line-up will also include late night live music experiences. 

The first time that the artwork has been installed in a place of worship in Bristol, the Cathedral’s programme of events will see faith, science and art come together in celebration of Gaia. The installation was designed by Jerram to recreate the Overview Effect, a phenomenon first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts, who are in space seeing Earth for the first time, 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.  

Gaia is  1.8 million times smaller than the Earth, with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture representing 18km of the Earth’s surface. As such, Gaia helps to make the scale of Earth and its beauty, a reality for all.

Coinciding with Gaia’s stay at the Cathedral will be a series of events designed to amplify and elevate visitors’ experiences of the artwork. Bristol Cathedral is hosting four Up Late events, where audiences will be welcomed into the space between 6pm and 9pm, to enjoy both the Cathedral and Gaia in darkness, alongside immersive live music. 

On Thursday 24th October, a one-off Blue Planet concert, which will see Bristol Ensemble performing music from the iconic soundtrack to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series as Gaia rotates, will provide an emotional and evocative accompaniment to the installation.  

Luke Jerram, artist, said: “After the success of Museum of the Moon at Bristol Cathedral in 2021, which attracted over 65,000 people, I’m delighted to bring my Gaia earth artwork to my home city. I can’t wait for visitors to the Cathedral to see the Earth as if from space; an incredibly beautiful and precious experience. The Cathedral is hosting a really exciting and inspirational programme of events that people can get involved with and I’ll also be announcing a new environmental artwork for the region in tandem with Gaia being installed.”

The Very Rev’d Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Gaia, the earth artwork, to Bristol Cathedral where it will be the centrepiece of a rich programme of events, including world music, discussions and children’s activities. The Museum of the Moon attracted visitors to the Cathedral who had never visited before and who discovered our beautiful historic building, encountered our welcoming community and experienced the awe and wonder of the Moon. I am excited to see how Gaia will do the same for Earth – and hope that many will come and see the artwork in all its glory.”’ 

Full line up and tickets will be available at the end of July.

Find out more here

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