Skip to main content

The museum, IMAX and Pictureville are temporarily closed. Find out about our major transformation.

You are here:

Gaia by Luke Jerram

We displayed Luke Jerram’s spectacular artwork Gaia, a detailed sculpture of Earth measuring seven metres in diameter.

We have gazed up at the Moon for millennia, but 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. Our perception and understanding of our planet changed forever. Hanging in the black emptiness of space, the Earth seems isolated, precious and fragile.

Gaia, a touring artwork by Luke Jerram, is a stunning replica of our planet, created using 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. The sculpture provides an incredible opportunity to view Earth as it might be seen from space, floating in three dimensions.

Looking up at Gaia, some have experienced the ‘overview effect’. Author Frank White coined the term in 1987 to describe the cognitive shift experienced by astronauts when viewing Earth from space. Common features of the experience 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 composition by BAFTA Award-winning composer Dan Jones was played alongside the sculpture.

About Luke Jerram

Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally since 1997, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. He is known worldwide for his large scale public artworks including Museum of the Moon, Glass Microbiology and Play Me, I’m Yours.