A visually stunning art installation depicting Earth as an astronaut would see it from space made its Scottish debut last night (January 1st) at a breath-taking illuminated outdoor tour at The Helix, home of the Kelpies.
Gaia, a seven-metre scale model of Earth created by international installation artist Luke Jerram, is making its Scottish premiere at Fire & Light: Cosmic Fortunes, which returned to The Helix last night for a fourth year.
The spectacular event, which opened last night and runs again tonight (January 2nd), sees The Helix transformed into a striking combination of fire performance, interactive light installations, captivating puppetry and animated projections depicting the signs of the Zodiac – all in front of the backdrop of the iconic Kelpies.
Luke Jerram’s Gaia is at the heart of the event, offering visitors a rare opportunity to see a floating three-dimensional depiction of Earth on such a large scale. Meaning the ‘Personification of the Earth’ in Greek Mythology, Gaia creates a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’ which is a phenomenon astronauts experience when viewing the Earth from Space in which they feel a sense of awe and a renewed sense of responsibility for the planet.
The installation, which hangs over water at Helix Park, features detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface and each centimetre of the installation represents 18km of the Earth’s surface.
This is Gaia’s third outing in the UK, having premiered at the Bluedot Festival in Cheshire and also exhibited at the Natural History Museum in London. Luke Jerram, international installation artist and creator of Gaia, said:
“I am delighted that Gaia is reaching new audiences in Scotland at Fire & Light: Cosmic Fortunes. We have been able to gaze at the moon for as long as we have lived on this planet, but have only known what the Earth looks like from space in the last half a century. Viewing Gaia gives people a realistic idea of what it is like to see the Earth from space or, if they stand at the correct distance away, from the moon.”
Managed by Falkirk Community Trust with support from Scotland’s Winter Festivals event fund, this year’s theme is the 12 signs of the zodiac and feature creations from five Scotland-based artists including David Powell, Pyroceltica and Vision Mechanics as well as Gaia.
The 13th installation is the result of a community engagement project involving 18 high school students from Falkirk and two Glasgow-based artists, Jane McInally and Pearl Kinnear. Their interactive installation features models of the solar system.
Jane McInally, a Glasgow-based artist famed for her expertise in creating spectacular paper lanterns, has been working on the 13th installation, a community project to complement Gaia which has been created by the young people of Falkirk. Jane is working in partnership with 18 young people from local schools and colleges to create a special interactive installation.
Ben Mardall, Helix Team Leader at Community Trust, said of Fire & Light 2019:
“Fire & Light: Cosmic Fortunes is an incredible show. The creative contributors have been outstanding and we are so excited to be featuring Luke Jerram’s Gaia as one of the many light installations visitors can marvel at. There is something for all ages, from fire performances to animated projections. Of course, there’s also our magical Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures, which are always a spectacular sight.”
Tickets are still available for the January 2nd show, which runs from 4.00pm to 10.00pm. For tickets please follow this link<www.thehelix.co.uk/all-events/fire-light-2019/#.W-QiWpP7SUk> or go to www.thehelix.co.uk<www.thehelix.co.uk>. Tickets are also available on the door.