Luke Jerram is one of the most exciting artists working in the UK today. Luke is known worldwide for his street pianos installation Play Me I’m Yours, and the giant waterslide he installed down Park street in Bristol. His multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in Bristol, UK and working internationally, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects over the last 18 years which have excited and inspired people around the globe.
Gaia was hosted by the Cabot Institute for the Environment in August 2019. Measuring seven metres in diameter, Gaia features incredibly detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, providing a unique opportunity to see our planet on this scale, floating in three-dimensions.
The installation creates 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.
Found in Leigh Woods, a national nature reserve on the edge of Bristol, Withdrawn was an artwork which came about thanks to the National Trust and their partners, the Forestry Commission. It surprised and excited audiences as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital in the summer of 2015.
At the closing event of the installation, visitors enjoyed a stimulating discussion between Luke Jerram and Professors Rich Pancost and Daniela Schmidt from the Cabot Institute for the Environment before tucking into a fish and chip supper that Josh Eggleton.
Professor Pancost said “The sea provides food, medicine, energy, protection, jobs and identity, but we are polluting, warming and acidifying it. The vessels showcased in Withdrawn illustrate a lifestyle and a food source that may someday no longer exist. We hope people will join us as we explore in an inclusive and entertaining way these themes in the beautiful and unique setting of the boats and woodland.”
Though not a Cabot Institute collaboration, Palm Temple was donated to the University of Bristol by Luke Jerram in 2020, and was created to make people think about biodiversity loss - a theme within many areas of Cabot Institute research.
The Palm Temple is inspired by nature and offers a space to reflect on humanity's relationship with nature. It is on permanent display outside the School of Chemistry for everyone to enjoy.