Gaia by Luke Jerram
From: Monday 4th July
To: Saturday 16th July
Gaia will be open to the general public from 12 noon to 6pm, admission will be unticketed and will be on a Pay What You Decide basis.
Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre
Stunning replica of planet Earth coming to Hartlepool Town Hall
The location has been revealed for a world-class attraction coming to Hartlepool this summer.
As part of the town’s Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, Gaia – a spectacular replica of planet Earth by internationally-renowned UK visual artist Luke Jerram – will be coming to Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre from Monday 4th to Saturday 16th July, giving visitors the chance to gaze upon the Earth as if from space.
The installation uses detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface to provide a unique opportunity to view our planet floating in three dimensions.
Measuring 7 metres in diameter, the artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre of the internally-lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth’s surface.
Gaia. Photograph copyright Jim Huntsman
“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,” says Luke Jerram.
“Halfway through the Earth’s sixthe 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.
“I was amazed and delighted that my Museum of the Moon artwork has been so popular. I’m fully aware that ten million members of the public haven’t been coming to see an artwork by ‘Luke Jerram’ but rather ‘the Moon’; an object of universal appeal and cultural significance.
“With this artwork of Earth, however, I’m interested in just how different the experience and interpretation is. For our entire human existence we have been gazing up at the moon and projecting all our hopes, dreams and wishes up there, whereas it was only in 1968 that we were able to see our own planet floating as a blue marble in space.”
The installation aims to create a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
Visitors will be able to view Gaia in the Town Hall Theatre by standing, sitting, or walking underneath it, and from different angles. There will also be a viewing platform on the balcony where visitors can enjoy a completely new view of the Earth.
Gaia on display in the Natural History Museum, London
Councillor Bob Buchan, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Adult and Community-Based Services Committee, said: “We are very excited to bring this incredible attraction to Hartlepool.
“The Earth is going to look visually stunning set inside the backdrop of our beautiful and historic Town Hall Theatre. This is definitely not a sight you see every day and we’re inviting everybody to come and gaze at our beautiful planet!”
Luke exhibited at last year’s Waterfront Festival, at a site in Seaton Park, and most recently in Durham Cathedral with Museum of the Moon and The Life Centre in Newcastle with Gaia.
Gaia will be open to the general public from 12 noon to 6pm, admission will be unticketed and will be on a Pay What You Decide basis. Visitors will be able to make anonymous donations based on their experience of the event and the money raised will be used to support additional children’s activities at next year’s festival.
There are also a number of limited slots available for school groups wishing to see Gaia each weekday morning between the hours of 10am and 12 noon. The free one-hour slots are limited to two groups per day. During their visit pupils will experience a 30 minute sound composition containing excerpts from NASA interview recordings with astronauts about how they felt when they first saw the earth from space.
Schools should book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hartlepool Waterfront Festival, which is organised by Hartlepool Borough Council, is on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July from 12pm until 6pm.
For more information visit www.hartlepoolwaterfrontfestival.com