Revealed: Gaia


Photo of GaiaRevealed: An exciting programme of events during Gaia’s residency at Gloucester Cathedral.

Gloucester Cathedral and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, along with partners Strike A Light, Diocese of Gloucester, Gloucester Culture Trust and the University of Gloucestershire have unveiled an exciting programme of events taking place during Gaia’s residency in the Nave of the Cathedral between 13 October and 1 November 2020.

Gaia forms a key part of the Cathedral’s Beacon of Hope campaign which aims to support the recovery of the city and county following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programme of collaborative cultural activities aims to help inspire local communities, promote wellbeing and stimulate economic growth. It will also complement the Cathedral’s work with the Diocese of Gloucester and other partners to address the climate crisis and promote environmental sustainability.

‘Hope for Creation: Building a Greener Future Together’ is a series of online webinars and symposia highlighting the climate emergency we are living in today and how positive action now can help build a greener future for all.

  • The Only Future is Green – with Lord Deben
  • A World Rebooted by Ruth Valerio
  • Green Community Engagement: Celebrating Local Action
  • Our Green Future: Environmental Action by young people, for young people
  • Mission Net Zero: Delivering Positive Climate Action

The Cathedral bells will also play their part in welcoming Gaia to Gloucester as the usual chiming schedule will be replaced by special tunes around the theme of Creation. On the days when online webinars and symposia take place, a short lament will be rung at one minute before each hour. The inspiration for this came from another Luke Jerram artwork (Extinction Bell) artwork which tolls once between 150 and 200 times each day, at random intervals, indicating the number of species lost worldwide every 24 hours.  The Extinction Bell can be visited within Luke's other artwork Palm Temple at University of Bristol 

Strike A Light present two outstanding youth events, 'I Stand for What I Stand On' - UK Student Climate Network Gloucester, working with director Anna Himali Howard, will share their experience as teenagers trying to wake the world up to the climate crisis, performed beneath Gaia in the Nave and ‘The World Awakens’ is a ‘virtual performance’ of a brand-new piece of music that The Multi-Story Orchestra have created with pupils from schools in Gloucester.

Among other events taking place at the Cathedral are ‘Endangered and Extinct’ a sculpture exhibition by creative recycling artist Val Hunt on display in the Cloisters.  Visitors will also be able to  learn more about the Cathedral’s Environmental and Social Responsibility work:  ‘Green Cathedral’ is an Information Display located in the beautiful Lady Chapel  which also showcases the activities of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Gloucester Gateway Trust, the Diocese of Gloucester and the University of Gloucestershire.

There will also be half term online family activities to enjoy including ‘Our Big Green Online Draw Along’ led by local illustrator Hannah Shaw and eco-hero cartoon drawing and colouring-in handouts available to download from the cathedral website.

For details of Gaia events and information on how to book click here

The events held at Gloucester Cathedral comply with all current government regulations and industry Covid-19 guidelines ensuring the building is safe for people to visit. Lorna Giles, Head of Visitor Experience said: “Everyone’s wellbeing is very important to us therefore to allow for physical distancing and to keep everybody safe, numbers of people visiting Gaia will be restricted.   You can rest assured ‘We’re Good to Go” and “Covid Secure”.



Press call/photo opportunity

There will be a press call/photo opportunity with Luke Jerram on Monday 12 October in the Cathedral from 2pm to 3pm. Please email to confirm your attendance.

Due to capacity restrictions we will only be able to allow press and media entry to the exhibition by prior arrangement.


For further information please contact:
Sandie Conway
Communications Officer
01452 508219


Notes for Editors

About Gaia




Gaia is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface*. The artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three-dimensions.

The installation creates 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 for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. Watch this great film about the phenomenon.

A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture. In Greek Mythology Gaia is the personification of the Earth.

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. By standing 211m away from the artwork, the public will be able to see the Earth as it appears from the moon.

Unlike the moon, which we have been gazing at for millennia, the first time humankind got to see the Earth in its entirety as a blue marble floating in space was in 1972 with NASA’s Apollo 17 mission. At this moment, our perception and understanding of our planet changed forever. Hanging in the black emptiness of space the Earth seems isolated, a precious and fragile island of life. From a distance, the Earth is just a pale blue dot.

Gaia has been created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot and the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres.

*The imagery for the artwork has been compiled from Visible Earth series, NASA.

About Luke Jerram
Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally since 1997, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. Jerram has a set of different narratives that make up his practice which are developing in parallel with one another. He is known worldwide for his large-scale public artworks.

About Ecclesiastical

  1. Owned by a registered charity, Allchurches Trust, Ecclesiastical is a unique financial services organisation. With its main operations and headquarters in the UK, Ecclesiastical also operates in Australia, Canada and Ireland.
  2. Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurer of the faith, heritage, fine art, charities, education and private client sectors.
  3. Founded in 1887 to provide insurance for the Anglican Church, the company now offers a wide range of commercial insurances, as well as home insurance, selling through brokers and directly.
  4. The Ecclesiastical Group also includes award-winning investment management business, EdenTree Investment Management, which provides a range of ethically screened investment funds.
  5. Ecclesiastical is one of the UK’s top five corporate donors to charity in the 2017-18 UK Guide to Company Giving. We have been named Insurance Company of the Year at the Better Society Awards two years running (2016 and 2017) and we are an eleven-time winner of Fairer Finance’s best home insurance provider. 
  6. After donating £50m to charity in three years, Ecclesiastical launched a bold vision in 2016 to raise £100m for good causes by the end of 2020. In March 2020, the Group announced it had already raised £96 million towards its target.
  7. Many businesses say they are different. Ecclesiastical really is. Find out why here

About the Gloucester Cathedral Beacon of Hope Appeal

Gloucester Cathedral: playing a crucial role in our community’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

If not directly affected by the virus, many of us are experiencing feelings of isolation and uncertainty at this difficult time and seeking spiritual reassurance and a source of hope. Gloucester Cathedral is here to help.

In step with those who have gone before us, our role is to respond positively to today’s unique set of challenges, by serving our communities through worship, outreach, music and mission. Whether our ministry is conducted virtually or otherwise, the Cathedral stands as a beacon of hope for all as we find ourselves in these unprecedented times. 

The Cathedral, though, has also been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. For the first time in 800 years it had to close its doors to the public. The inevitable drop in funding is acute for all cathedrals and by the end of 2021, Gloucester Cathedral stands to lose somewhere in the region of £1.3 million. Yet, at a time when so many lives have been turned upside down, the Cathedral is stepping up. Rather than wait for things to get better, it is reaching out, to embrace our community and to heal. The Cathedral must continue to be a place of sanctuary, solace and reinvigoration.

The Beacon of Hope appeal was launched in May to raise £1m to ensure the Cathedral can play a key role in the recovery of the city, county and diocese by:

  • Programming collaborative cultural activities to help inspire local communities, promote wellbeing and stimulate economic growth.
  • Meeting the spiritual and social needs of our communities by providing a place of sanctuary, continuing regular worship and providing community resources
  • Safeguarding our heritage, continuing to care for our fabric and adapt so music and worship can still reach people’s homes
  • Maintaining and developing our training, education and outreach provision and supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.

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