Arts London Preview

Arts of the UK 2021: Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring installation Gaia returns to the Old Royal Naval College

Screenshot 2020-11-26 at 7.28.56 PM

LONDON – Following a sold-out display in summer 2020, Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring art installation Gaia is returning to the Old Royal Naval College in January. Due to overwhelming demand, Gaia is returning for a full month in pride of place in the magnificent Painted Hall, along with an exciting series of Friday late night openings. This monumental internally-lit sculpture, measuring seven metres in diameter, was created using 120dpi NASA imagery and is an exact scale replica of our planet.

UK artist Jerram aims to instil a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’ that astronauts experience when looking down at Earth from space: feelings of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life and a sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the outdoors and nature becoming a haven for so many, Gaia acts as a mirror to society to provide the viewer with a new perspective of our precious planet.

Gaia is 1.8 million times smaller than Earth, with each centimetre of the sculpture representing 18km of the Earth’s surface. By standing 211 metres away from the slowly rotating artwork, viewers can see the Earth as it appears from the moon while enjoying a specially made surround-sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones. The sculpture provides an amazing opportunity for visitors to the Painted Hall to view Earth as it appears from space, floating in three dimensions like a ‘blue marble’.

Gaia Friday night openings will illuminate visitors’ worlds every Friday in January. These exciting late-night openings will allow visitors into the Painted Hall after hours, and experience Gaia in a whole new light, with the internally-lit sculpture appearing even more magnificent after dark. The late-night openings will also include afterhours access to the Painted Hall Café to enjoy food and drink along with the Baroque and contemporary art upstairs in the Hall.

Matthew Mees, Chief Executive of the Old Royal Naval College comments: “The wonder of Gaia as a thoughtful and illuminating work of art needs to be seen to be believed, especially against the magnificent Baroque setting of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to install Jerram’s thought-provoking work once again and give everyone a chance to visit and experience it for themselves.”

The Painted Hall will be open as usual during the Gaia installation and talks and events will continue as programmed. Gaia was previously displayed at the Old Royal Naval College as part of Greenwich+Docklands International Festival 2020.

Gaia runs from 3rd January to 7th February 2021 at the Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NNT. For more information, visit their website here

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