Contemporary cultural precinct HOTA, Home of the Arts, has unveiled the major internationally renowned installation Gaia, marking the first time the artwork has been presented on Australia’s East Coast. From today until 11 October, Gaia will be open to the public for free day and night viewing, against the backdrop of the Gold Coast city skyline.
Created by UK multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram, Gaia measures seven metres in diameter and combines 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface with specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning composer Dan Jones.
Gaia is the personification of the Earth in Greek Mythology and this major artwork provides visitors the opportunity to view our planet as if they were astronauts looking on from outer space. In this video, Luke Jerram talks about creating this incredible work.
“Gaia creates a sense of the Overview Effect, the experience 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, as felt by astronauts in outer space,” says Jerram.
“Now in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the artwork may provide the viewer with a new perspective; a sense that societies of the Earth are all interconnected and that we have a responsibility toward one another. After the lockdown, there has been a renewed respect for our natural world.”
A rich and captivating eleven-day live program of free and ticketed events entitled WONDER will orbit the awe-inspiring, major installation as it rotates and floats serenely, suspended from HOTA’s Outdoor Stage.
On Saturday 3 October, world-renowned guitar virtuosa and ARIA-award winning performer Karin Schaupp curates and directs Sounds of Wanderlust, featuring performances by Orava String Quartet, Yugambeh Youth Choir, Hungarian cello soloist Gyorgy Deri in his Australian debut, and an unmissable solo performance from famed opera star, Jose Carbo.
On Saturday 10 October, Return to Earth directed by Gavin Webber of The Farm, provides an evening of contemporary dance, music and circus, with performances by Tenzin Choegyal, Guy Webster, Taree and Caleena Sansbury, Thomas E. S. Kelly, Kayah and Maitreyah Guenther, Aarti Bajaj, and others.
The Birth and Death of Stars rounds off the program on Sunday 11 October, with live music and a new show from multi-award winning, international touring group – Mzaza – playing underneath Gaia. Their exotic rhythms and melodies tap into the beating heart of humankind taking audiences on a musical ride.
“Luke Jerram’s stunning installation captures the beauty and fragility of our planet. In a time where people are overwhelmed, this captivating artwork offers a gentle space for reflection,” said Criena Gehrke, Chief Executive Officer of HOTA, Home of the Arts.
“Audiences can come and sit on the lawn, enjoying the experience in their own time with loved ones, or take advantage of the performances taking place that will respond to the wonder of Gaia. We are thrilled to be able to provide the opportunity to connect with work from a celebrated international artist.”
Luke Jerram is a UK-based artist known globally for his multidisciplinary work including sculptures, installations and live artworks, which combine art, science and play. His work tours worldwide and in 2018, he had 73 exhibitions in 21 different countries.
He is known for creating art which encourages viewer participation, with previous works including Play Me, I’m Yours, which saw over 1,900 street pianos installed in over 70 cities across the globe and the critically acclaimed Sky Orchestra, a performative artwork including 7 hot air balloons and a surround sound experience (this launched the 2007 Sydney Festival).
His Glass Microbiology artworks are in museum collections around the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Shanghai Museum of Glass, Wellcome Collection (London) and Corning Museum of Glass (USA).
For more information about Gaia and the WONDER program, visit: www.hota.com.au for details. All events meet social distancing and hygiene guidelines per HOTA’s COVID safe plan, which is available on their website.
Image: Gaia – photo by Leximagery