Artist Luke Jerram rolls the earth and the moon into churches...and this week, onto an XR protest in Bristol

A beautiful pleasure, for any of the Extinction Rebellion rebels in the Bristol end of their week long protests: Luke Jerram’s Gaia sculpture - an illuminated sphere with a highly accurate surface of the Earth - hanging near one of the protest sites there.

Jerram tells what he’s trying to do on his website:

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 aims to create 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

…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.

“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”, says Luke.

“Halfway through the Earth’s six mass extinction, we urgently need to wake up, and change our behaviour. We need to quickly make the changes necessary, to prevent run away Climate Change.”

His “Moon” structure was found at this year’s Glastonbury event, “Museum of the Moon” - see the slide show below for other locations:

Some more explanatory videos here. On “Gaia”

On “Moon”: