Stunning artwork of planet Earth seen from space to visit Suffolk

Gaia - the world seen from space artwork Picture: National Environment Research Council (NERC)

Gaia - the world seen from space artwork Picture: National Environment Research Council (NERC) - Credit: Archant

An enormous and awe-inspiring spherical sculpture of planet Earth is to be on show at a Suffolk entertainment centre this autumn.

Created by UK artist, Luke Jerram, Gaia, a seven-metre diameter, rotating artwork will provide an experience for visitors creating a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’ experienced by astronauts.

The artwork is to go display at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds from October 3 to 18.

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “This is a massive coup for Bury St. Edmunds and West Suffolk. The installation has been displayed in Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan and at the Natural History Museum in London but we will be the first venue in Eastern region to have the Earth on show.

“When we had the Museum of the Moon at The Apex last year, we saw 15,000 visitors in the first week. We are not expecting as many as that and will have social distancing measures in place, but equally we do hope that people will come to see and enjoy this wonderous sight before going to enjoy the local shops, restaurants and other town attractions.”

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Featuring detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface at 120dpi resolution, the internally lit artwork allows people to see the 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 ‘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.

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Artist Luke Jerram said: “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.”

Gaia is a major part of The Apex’s Covid-19 recovery programme and demonstrates how a concert hall is diversifying to present art during a time where it cannot stage a live performance.

It can be viewed at The Apex from October 3-18 between 10am and 4pm daily. Although entry is free, 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.

To ensure social distancing, a limited number of people will be allowed to enter the auditorium at any given point and time slots will be limited to 25 minutes. Pre-booking is essential via The Apex website, by calling 01284 758000 or in person at The Apex. Booking opens August 28.

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