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PICTURES: See inside the amazing giant Earth sculpture inside historic Oxford building

·2-min read
First look at giant Earth sculpture inside historic Oxford building
First look at giant Earth sculpture inside historic Oxford building

A GIANT sculpture of the Earth is officially open to the public in one of Oxford’s oldest buildings.

Measuring at a whopping six metres in diameter the ‘humbling’ piece of art works out as 2.1 million times smaller than the real Earth.

It’s been recreated from extremely detailed NASA pictures of the Earth’s surface and each centimetre of the sculpture represents 21km of our planet.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

To put it into perspective, by standing 181m away from the artwork, which isn’t possible inside the church, you can see earth as it appears from the moon.

It aims to create the ‘overview effect’ reported by some astronauts when viewing Earth from space. The effect makes you feel a sense of awe for the planet and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

That’s part of the reason it’s been installed inside the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford High Street as part of Oxford Art Festival. The idea is to help give people a feeling of pride when it comes to the protecting the planet and encourage people to make smarter, sustainable choices.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

The work is named Gaia which in Greek mythology is the name for the personification of Earth.

It was created by Luke Jerram, who virtually helped curate the installation yesterday. When the globe was being installed with spider cranes and machinery, he decided on the exact placement over video call.

It now sits between the two stone archways under the steeple of the church above the altar.

Dr Michelle Castelletti, who is the director of the festival in Oxford, said the installation is ‘humbling’.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

She said: “You can see yourself and the Earth in it’s wholeness.”

She explained that the church was chosen to host Gaia’s installation because of the accessibility of the location, on Oxford High Street and behind the Radcliffe Camera and also because the church bosses have been ‘wonderful’ in the organisation process.

She said the whole installation is has been meticulously curated with music from BAFTA winning composer Dan Jones playing in the background as the globe spins at 21million times slower than it’s usual speed.

Magdalen College School headteacher Helen Pike said she had been touring her pupils around this morning – using it as a classroom outside of the classroom.

The general reaction from the children, she said, was ‘woah, this is cool’.

The boys will have their annual leavers ceremony in the church under the globe. An emotional Ms Pike said: “We’ll be sending them off into the world, under the world. It will be amazing.”

The exhibition is free to go and admire until July 10 and will be open from 9.30am until 5pm (or 6pm in July) on Monday to Saturday.

Anybody who shares pictures on social media is encouraged to tag @artsfestOxford

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