Created by UK artist, Luke Jerram the seven-metre diameter, rotating artwork provides an immersive experience for visitors creating a sense of the “overview effect” as experienced by astronauts.
Featuring detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface at 120dpi resolution, the internally lit artwork allows us to see our planet floating in three-dimensions. A specially created surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning composer Dan Jones will be played alongside the sculpture.
The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre 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. It is the first time this spectacular artwork will be displayed in East Anglia.
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.
The “overview effect” 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.
“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”, said Luke Jerram.
The sculpture’s name is derived from the Greek word Gaia meaning “earth”; in Greek mythology Gaia is the personification of the earth.
Jerram’s multi-disciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. He is known worldwide for his large scale public artworks such as The Museum of the Moon, which was installed at The Apex last year, attracting some 15,000 visitors in the first week.
Gaia can be viewed at The Apex from October 3 to 18, between 10am and 4pm daily. Although entry is free allowing access for all, as the venue has not been in a position to present a live concert since March, a donation of £3 per person is being recommended. There is an option to make larger donation to support The Apex, or donations can be waived and Gaia experienced for free.
Pre-booking is essential either online at www.theapex.co.uk by telephone on 01284 758000 or in person from The Apex, 1 Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3FD.
For more information about Gaia visit www.my-earth.org.