A magical evening at Peterborough Cathedral for the official opening of Gaia
500 people gathered at Peterborough Cathedral last night (Monday 19th August) for the official opening of Luke Jerram’s Gaia Earth artwork, which will be suspended under the Cathedral’s central tower until 15th September.
The rotation of the earth was switched on by Sue Woodhouse, who won a competition on the Kev Lawrence Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to officially start the exhibition. She had to answer the question, “How much quicker is Gaia than the real earth?” (Answer: 360 times faster).
The event began with an introduction from the Dean of Peterborough, the Very Revd Chris Dalliston, who remarked on the recent 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, and the environmental inspiration for the artwork. “Here we are underneath our very blue planet, given to us to God himself,” he said. “Luke Jerram wants us to think about the vulnerability of our planet. This precious globe is all that we have. This is our home and we need to take care of it.”
Kev Lawrence then led the guests in a countdown for the big switch-on, before declaring the Gaia exhibition officially open to a big cheer. He also told a charming story from when Luke Jerram’s previous work, Museum of the Moon, was in the Cathedral in October 2018. A six-year-old had gone up to Luke Jerram and asked him, “When you’ve finished with the moon, will you put it back?!”
Gaia is seven metres high and features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. Lit from the inside, it rotates once every four minutes, and is accompanied during evening openings by a specially-made surround sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones.
For details of opening times and the events planned during Gaia’s installation, visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/gaia. To book tickets for these events, visit www.ticketisland.co.uk/peterboroughcathedral.