Gaia in Belfast in 2019.

Gaia

Founders Hall
Sep 10 - Oct 3, 2021

Event Details

Q&A with Artist Luke Jerram

  1. Where did you get the idea to make the Gaia artwork?

The Gaia Earth artwork was made to communicate a sense of the fragility of our planet. Halfway through the Earth’s six mass extinction, we urgently need to wake up, and change our behaviour. Society needs to quickly make the changes necessary to prevent run away Climate Change.

The artwork was also made as a sister sculpture, to compare with the Museum of the Moon, which to date has been seen by over 3 million members of the public in more than 25 countries worldwide.  For our entire human existence we have been gazing up at the moon and projecting all our hopes, dreams and wishes up there. Whereas for the Earth, it was only in 1968 through NASA’s Earthrise photo, that humanity was able to see our planet for the first time, as a blue marble of life, floating in blackness of space.

 

 

  1. During its tour, Gaia has always be shown in public spaces. Why is it important to you to show your artworks in public spaces?

    I enjoy presenting artwork in public spaces, as I know the audience will be broad and diverse and the exhibition will be open to everyone.

    I like the fact that whether Gaia is presented in an art museum, science centre, park or cathedral, the experience and interpretation of the artwork will change.

    Gaia also acts as a venue, with local hosts creating their own programme of events to take place beneath the artwork. These might include: space or environmentally themed science events; music or performance arts events etc.

 

  1. Gaia is made of really precise imagery from NASA’s Visible Earth series. Can you explain this choice?

    I wanted to make the artwork seem as authentic and realistic as possible to give the public the opportunity to see how our planet looks from space. For most people, this will be their most intimate, personal and closest encounter they will ever have with the whole of our planet.

 

  1. What do you expect to provoke among the public with Gaia?
     

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 six 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. There really is no Planet B!


6. Each venue that hosts Gaia has its own architectural specificities. It also offers different performances and events beneath the artwork. Why is this important to you?

Gaia is an installation artwork that combines the architecture of the space, the sculpture of the Earth and a surround sound composition. Each venue and host, has the opportunity to curate their own Earth and environmentally inspired events.

Like many of my other artworks such as Museum of the Moon, Play Me, I’m Yours and Withdrawn, this work provides opportunities for collaboration and the creative input of others. I enjoy the unexpected outcomes of an artwork, when I leave space for the public or for other artists to be creative.


7. Music is also very important for your artwork. How relevant and important is Dan Jones’ composition to your work?

The surround sound music connects the sculpture with the space and architecture around it. The sound fills a room and creates an atmosphere and ambience, shaping and guiding interpretation of the sculpture.

I’ve worked with Dan over 10 years on various projects and he’s always a pleasure to collaborate with.

 

More information about the artwork can be found at:

 

https://my-earth.org/about/

https://my-earth.org/research/

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