Luke Jerram on GAIA
This week the incredible GAIA has taken up residence at HOTA. From the creative mind of acclaimed UK multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram, it’s an extraordinary installation that’s been a hit with audiences all around the world. To say we’re excited to have GAIA here would be an understatement!
Luke told us a little about the thought process behind this artwork and the action he hopes to inspire.
‘The GAIA Earth artwork was made to communicate a sense of the fragility of our planet. Halfway through the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, we urgently need to wake up, and change our behaviour. Society needs to quickly make the changes necessary to prevent runaway 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 the blackness of space,’ Luke told us.
GAIA has always be shown in public spaces and is often accompanied by performance and events inspired by the artwork, such as our WONDER program.
Luke continued: ‘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.’
‘Like many of my other artworks such as Museum of the Moon, Play Me, I’m Yours and Withdrawn, this work provides opportunities for collaboration and the creative input of others.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.’
Dan Jones’ composition is also a key part of how you experience GAIA.
‘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,‘ Luke said.
By using precise imagery from NASA’s Visible Earth series GAIA is an authentic and realistic portrayal of how our planet looks from space. And for most of us this will be the closest we ever get to seeing our planet in its entirety.
Luke concluded: ‘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. There really is no Planet B!’
We’ve programmed eleven days of GAIA inspired events that started from 1 Oct, so there are many ways you can experience this beautiful, thought-provoking artwork. See full WONDER program here.
And due to popular demand, we’re extending GAIA’s stay at HOTA for another three days – so you’ll be able to stop by until 8pm, Wed 14 October.
You can read more about GAIA and Luke here.