Luke Jerram: Gaia

Date: Friday, Aug 16 2019 - Sunday, Aug 18 2019
Venue: Wills Memorial Building

Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol host Luke Jerram’s Gaia Earth artwork across one August weekend.

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 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.

A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture.

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, the public will be able to see the Earth as it appears from the moon.

Unlike the moon, which we have been gazing at for millennia, the first time humankind got to see the Earth in its entirety as a blue marble floating in space was in 1972 with NASA’s Apollo 17 mission. At this moment, our perception and understanding of our planet changed forever.

Hanging in the black emptiness of space the Earth seems isolated, a precious and fragile island of life. From a distance, the Earth is just a pale blue dot.

Gaia has been created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot and the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres.

Fri 16 10am-6pm / Sat 17 10am-8pm / Sun 18 10am-6pm, Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building. Free, all welcome.

For more info, visit

By steve wright, Thursday, Jul 18 2019

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