Gaia is the festival centrepiece

A REMARKABLE seven-metre globe will float under the spire crossing in Salisbury Cathedral providing a stunning focus for Salisbury International Arts Festival, running from 24th May to 9th June.

Gaia is a stunning installation by Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram. The rotating globe features NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface and marks 50 years since the moon landings of 1969.

In Greek mythology Gaia is the personification of the Earth and Jerram’s beautiful globe is a timely backdrop to debate about how our fragile planet should be nurtured for future generations. Salisbury Festival 2019 incorporates a new Festival of Ideas: Our Fragile Home which brings together mind-expanding documentary and film with music, poetry and discussion with nuclear and climate experts.

The artist says: “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. Halfway through the Earth’s sixth mass extinction, we urgently need to wake up, and change our behaviour. We need to quickly make the changes necessary, to prevent runaway climate change. There really is no Planet B!”

Gaia will form the backdrop to festival performances including the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra playing Holst’s The Planets; Harriet Mackenzie leading a nature-inspired concert with the London Chamber Orchestra including Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending; and the Salisbury Festival Chorus performing Alec Roth’s choral work Earthrise.

The installation can be viewed in the spire crossing at Salisbury Cathedral which is open 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday and noon-4pm on Sundays.