Art in focus: May 2020
We have been gazing at the moon for millennia but the first time humankind saw the earth first hand – a beautiful blue and white sphere floating in space – was in 1968, with Nasa’s Apollo 8 mission. At that moment, our perception and understanding of our planet changed forever. Artist Luke Jerram, who made this rotating, seven-metre globe using images taken by that space mission, named it after the maternal personification of the earth from Greek mythology, Gaia. He says: ‘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.’
Here, Gaia is suspended under the spire crossing of Salisbury Cathedral, for last year’s Salisbury International Arts Festival. Visitors were encouraged to stand or lie below it, gazing up at the detailed surface and experiencing something of what those early astronauts felt – a sense of awe at the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. In the grandeur of that particular building, they might also have seen the planet in the awesome context of creation.
Art in focus is curated by Meryl Doney
This article was published in the May 2020 edition of Reform