Popular Earth Installation to Return to Greenwich this Summer

Following a sold-out display in summer 2020, Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring art installation Gaia will return to the Old Royal Naval College in May

Lead image: Colin B. Mackenzie/Old Royal Naval College

Originally due to return in January but thwarted by yet another lockdown, Gaia will finally make its return to the glorious Old Royal Naval College in early summer.

Set against the magnificent Baroque backdrop of the Painted Hall, Gaia will take pride of place for a full month, accompanied by a series of Friday late openings.

This monumental internally-lit sculpture is an exact scale replica of our planet, measuring seven metres in diameter and floating in three dimensions like a ‘blue marble’.

UK artist Luke Jerram used 120dpi NASA imagery to recreate the unique view of Earth experienced by astronauts in space with the hope of instilling in viewers feelings of awe for the planet.

Known as the ‘Overview Effect’, the awe-inspiring sight of earth from space can instil a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life and a sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the outdoors and nature becoming a haven for so many, Gaia acts as a mirror to society to provide the viewer with a new perspective of our precious planet.

Gaia is 1.8 million times smaller than Earth, with each centimetre of the sculpture representing 18km of the Earth’s surface.

By standing 211 metres away from the slowly rotating artwork, viewers can see the Earth as it appears from the moon, while enjoying a surround-sound composition created by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Gaia Lates will offer viewers the chance to see the internally-lit sculpture after dark in the atmospheric Pained Hall every Friday night in June, and include extended hours on the first day of opening (Sunday 30 May) and Sunday 6 June.

The late-night openings will also include afterhours access to the Painted Hall Café to enjoy food and drink along with the Baroque and contemporary art upstairs in the Hall.

Gaia was previously displayed at the Old Royal Naval College as part of Greenwich+Docklands International Festival 2020.

Open from 30 May to 1 July 2021 with Gaia Lates every Friday from 5.30pm-10pm (as well as Sundays 30 May & 6 June). Tickets £12. Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, King William Walk SE10 9NN; ornc.digitickets.co.uk

ORNC Greenwich reopens

The Old Royal Naval College reopens its beautiful outdoor grounds, café and gift shops from 12 April, with a continuation of digital events – including award-winning playwright Adeola Solanke’s Phillis in London, and online drawing workshops with illustrator Nick Ellwood – in April and May.

The Old Brewery also reopens for outdoor dining from 12 April, and there will be pop-up food stalls outdoors every weekend with picnic baskets and deck chairs available for visitors.

Further outdoor events on the grounds are due to be announced shortly.

See ornc.org for further reopening details