The popular River Festival Liverpool is back in June and a huge 23ft replica of the earth will be one of the event highlights.
Located in Britain’s largest cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral, the artwork called ‘Gaia’ (meaning the personification of the earth), will hang majestically in the Grade I listed building and features accurate and detailed NASA imagery of the earth.
The installation, by renowned British artist Luke Jerram, will be complemented with a sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones.
Gaia will be open to the public from Saturday 25 May, a week before the free festival takes place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June.
The artwork forms part of the ‘Changing Tides’ creative programme, which last year saw the Museum of the Moon installed in the Cathedral attracting 60,000 visitors to the venue in just two weeks. This year’s programme celebrates the port of Liverpool as an arrival and departure base for exemplary culture, music, food and wine from all over the earth.
Gaia will be in position for four weeks until Sunday 23 June, and a programme of events and talks will take place under the earth during its run – these will be announced in the forthcoming weeks.
The Very Rev Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool said: “It’s a great joy to be able to host another amazing installation at Liverpool Cathedral by renowned artist Luke Jerram, as part of the city’s River Festival.
“As an inspiring place of encounter, with worship at its heart, the Cathedral is a focal point for people in Liverpool and visitors to the city. Last year, witnessing so many people enjoy the beautiful Museum of the Moon, reminded me that we really are a place for the city to come together and experience something truly outstanding.
“The Earth or Gaia installation coupled with the warm welcome of our staff and volunteers is set to give our visitors another breath-taking experience.
“Despite our size - we’re the largest cathedral in the UK and the fifth largest in the world, there’s an incredible sense of intimacy when you enter the space and Luke Jerram’s artwork will only enhance that feeling of oneness.”
Artist and Gaia creator Luke Jerram, said: “I was delighted when the Museum of the Moon was presented at the Cathedral and overwhelmed that 60,000 people experienced my work.
“Now I’ve made an artwork of the Earth, I’m interested in how people will react to this different experience and what their interpretation will be. For our entire human existence, we have been gazing up at the moon and projecting all our hopes concerns, dreams and wishes up there. Whereas for the earth it was only in 1968 that humanity was able to see our planet floating like a blue marble in space.
“I hope visitors to the Earth in Liverpool get to see our planet as if from space, as a floating fragile ball of life, an incredibly beautiful and precious ecosystem. A place we urgently need to look after - our only home.”
Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “River Festival Liverpool has become a much-loved staple of our events calendar and it attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year.
“We are incredibly proud of the creative programme which showcases some of the very best in art and culture from local and global talent through commissions, installations and performances.
“We are delighted to work with Luke Jerram once again – the Moon was not only hugely popular, but also thought-provoking, and Gaia will be equally as impactful in such an impressive space as the iconic Liverpool Cathedral.
“It’s set to be a busy weekend on our UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront as we celebrate our maritime heritage.”
River Festival Liverpool and Changing Tides has been curated by Liverpool City Council. Supporters making the event possible are Huyton Asphalt, Arriva, Heart North West and Merseyrail.
For all the latest information, visit www.theriverfestival.co.uk, or follow River Festival Liverpool on Facebook and Instagram and @riverfestlpool on Twitter #RiverFestival
For more information about Gaia, visit www.my-earth.org, #earthartwork.