Luke Jerram’s Art Installations at Cathedrals this Autumn

21st September 2023

Many of our cathedrals are hosting artist Luke Jerram’s huge art installations this autumn – with Durham announcing record visitor numbers for his Planet Earth.

Cathedrals Welcome Luke Jerram’s Art Installations.

Lichfield Cathedral will host Luke Jerram’s seven-metre-wide artwork, Gaia, a representation of planet Earth, which will be suspended in the nave from this Friday (22 September).

The artwork, Gaia forms the central plank of Journey through Creation, an exhibition that explores creation with an aquarium, a garden space, floating clouds and other mini-installations as the cathedral celebrates the wonders of the planet.

Luke Jerram Art Installations

Installations include artwork from children who took part in the activities over the summer. Special evening events will run over each weekend of the installation and during the October half-term.

The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, Interim Dean of Lichfield, said:

“This summer we have all been made aware of the reality of global warming.

“Luke Jerram’s breath-taking installation in the setting of our beautiful Cathedral will, we hope, stir everyone who visits to do all that we can to save our fragile planet while the artwork created by visiting children will remind us of our responsibilities towards the next generation.”

Truro Cathedral has also announced it will be hosting Luke Jerram’s Gaia this October too with an exciting programme of events running alongside.

Gaia will be suspended above the Cathedral Crossing from 6-28 October 2023 and will be available during general visiting hours as well as for special sessions and tours including special Celestial Heights Tours that will take the visitor to lesser-known areas of the cathedral for a unique bird’s eye view of the artwork.

Other events include a silent disco and musical offerings plus there are three relaxed viewing sessions designed to be neurodiversity-friendly for a more accessible viewing experience.

The touring artwork, measuring 7 metres in diameter, was created from 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the earth’s surface and is accompanied with a surround sound composition, created by BAFTA award winner Dan Jones.

The aim of the installation is to create the overview effect, creating a sense of awe of our home planet.

Derby Cathedral is bringing back Luke Jerram’s ‘Museum of the Moon’ for a second time this October following feedback from the local public.

The touring artwork Museum of the Moon featuring detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface will be suspended in the nave from October 12 until November 10.

The installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones.

The Dean of Derby, the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, said: .

“When ‘Museum of the Moon’ first came to Derby Cathedral, we had people queuing, at times, right down to the Market Place.

“The art installation showed people from Derby and well beyond just what a wonderful, welcoming and inspiring space the Cathedral is and many people said they would love to see it here again.”

An extended events programme has also been organised with music, poetry, quiet times, a kids’ science event, and after-dark sessions. Find out more here

‘Museum of the Moon’ at Derby Cathedral has been sponsored by the Derbion shopping centre and the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID).

Beth McDonald, Managing Director of Derbion, commented:

“We are extremely proud to be a sponsor for Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon event at Derby Cathedral this year.

“Museum of the Moon is set to be an incredible experience that will drive tourism and footfall to the city, as well as provide the local community with the opportunity to see a major art installation that celebrates the mystical lunar landscape.”

Southwark Cathedral will also host the Museum of the Moon from 10 – 28 October.

Over its lifetime, Museum of the Moon has been presented in a number of different ways both indoors and outdoors, so changing the experience and interpretation of the artwork.

As it travels from place to place, it gathers new musical compositions and an ongoing collection of personal responses, stories and mythologies, as well as highlighting the latest moon science.

Southwark too has a programme of events built around the moon including lunar lates, a comedy night, a moonlit jazz evening, a talk by Tim Peake. Find out what’s on here.

Durham Cathedral has just announced record visitor figures from hosting Luke Jerram’s Gaia this summer.

From 10 July until 10 September, the giant Earth installation hung in the Nave of Durham Cathedral during which time 140,000 people visited the cathedral and 1,400 booked one of the unique events – from yoga to silent discos.

Visitor figures in August alone, saw an increase of 72% over the same time period in 2022.

Andrew Usher, Chief Officer: Visitor Experience and Enterprise at Durham Cathedral said:

‘It has been our pleasure to host Luke Jerram’s Earth artwork this summer. We have loved seeing the reactions of our visitors as they entered the cathedral and caught their first glimpse of Gaia. Over the past 9 weeks, it has been the focal point for photos, a feature in some once-in-a-lifetime events and a topic of debate.  

“Whatever people’s motivations for visiting Gaia, we hope the installation and the cathedral setting achieved the goal for our visitors to pause and reflect on our home planet and the current climate crisis we face.’

Canon Chancellor, The Revd Canon Charlie Allen, said:

Gaia has been a striking and poignant focal point within the cathedral, encouraging visitors and the local community to gaze in awe at the planet we call home – and to lament the ways in which we have failed to care for it. 

“We hope that Gaia will have inspired us all to take seriously the challenge of climate crisis and to reflect on how we can live differently so that future generations may enjoy the abundance we so easily take for granted.’