Visitor takes a picture of Gaia

On top of the world

by Alison Cornmell

It’s only been open a few days and already, more than 4,400 people have visited St. Chad’s Church in Kirkby to see the earth sculpture, Gaia.

The 6-metre-wide artwork by Luke Jerram is a replica of the ‘earth’ created from detailed NASA imagery of the planet’s surface and has been capturing the public’s imagination.

At the launch last week, community champions and local leaders were given the opportunity to see this wonderful artwork. Cllr Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods attended the event and said:

“It was a very special and moving moment when I first walked into St. Chad’s and saw Gaia. It’s a stunning artwork with a poignant message and I couldn’t be prouder that it’s here in Knowsley. The launch event was fantastic, and everyone commented on how beautiful Gaia is, and what an unforgettable experience it was to be there.”

Since the launch many people have been sharing their photographs on social media with people saying the work is “Amazing”, “Gorgeous”, “Really worth a visit”, “Beautiful”, and someone even said: “We’ve seen this before in Liverpool Cathedral but it was all the more special to see it in our little church!”. People are encouraged to carry on sharing their pictures and comments, making sure to tag @cultueknowsley on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A vibrant events programme has also been created and this weekend saw Syrian folk dancing performances from the British Syrian Cultural Centre as well as traditional Indian and English fusion dancing by members of the Liverpool Ganesh Temple, based in Kirkby. To mark the start of LGBT+ History Month, the ‘Be Yourself’ group from Vibe, an LGBT+ youth group also invited young people from across the city region to meet under Gaia. Using the work as an emblem of unity and solidarity, they had the opportunity to express themselves through music, dance and poetry.

Gaia St. Chad’s Church Kirkby

Gaia is on display at St. Chad’s Church until Thursday 17 February and you can book tickets here https://www.cultureknowsley.co.uk/gaia-booking-page/

Gaia is the latest instalment in Knowsley’s year-long Borough of Culture programme. So far visitors have enjoyed Aqualux in Kirkby and Magic Wood in Halewood – with all attractions forming part of ‘New Dawn’ –  a series of moments of light across the borough. Still to come is Tall Tales, an incredible, large scale community artwork which will be projected onto a tower block on Stockbridge Village, two world-class light installations in Huyton Village and a spectacular finale at Knowsley Hall.

You can find out more about Knowsley’s Borough of Culture events at www.cultureknowsley.co.uk or by following @cultureknowsley on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

New Dawn

Tall Tales – 4 and 5 February 2022 – 6pm onwards (last showing 7.30pm) – Stockbridge Village
Tall Tales is a brand-new large-scale community artwork that will see Merecliff – a residential 16 storey tower in Stockbridge Village (adjacent to the M57 motorway) – animated and illuminated in light. The dramatic projection which will be accompanied by a soundtrack, will tell the story of local people and communities who have shared their stories captured, interpreted and exaggerated by artists Illuminos.

Submergence – 12 to 26 February – Huyton Village Centre
Submergence, created by world renowned artists Squid Soup,  is a reflective, immersive walkthrough experience that will go on display in Sherbourne Square in Huyton Village. Consisting of thousands of individual points of suspended light, visitors are encouraged to enter the artwork to experience the amazing light illusion for themselves.

New Dawn Light Spectacular – 18 and 19 February – 2 showings per night 6pm and 9pm –  Knowsley Hall
The New Dawn programme will come to a spectacular climax over two consecutive evenings in February. In two showings per evening, the iconic Knowsley Hall will be illuminated in a series of dramatic projections recreating a vision of a pop-up story book – a fairy-tale of lights and sound telling the stories of Knowsley.

Delivered by video projection artist’s Illuminos and accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack from renowned composer Patrick Dineen the spectacular will create a unique and memorable moment for all visitors. The ballot for tickets for this event has now closed.

COVID ADVICE TO VISITORS

  • If you have tested positive for COVID 19 or are displaying symptoms of the virus please do not attend
  • Guests are advised to take a lateral flow test before they attend. You can obtain lateral flow test kits here
  • Please check www.cultureknowsley.co.uk or follow @cultureknowsley on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for any updates

Borough of Culture

The Borough of Culture title was introduced by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up the Liverpool City Region.

The Borough of Culture is part of the 1% for Culture initiative which commits at least 1% of the Liverpool City Region’s annual gain share (£300k) to cultural projects/activities. Established as an annual award rotating around the boroughs, the Borough of Culture helps to celebrate, amplify and strengthen the existing cultural offer, develop new ideas and initiatives that will underpin future development and legacy.

Liverpool City Region is the first Combined Authority to have control over culture in its devolution deal, utilising many of the region’s existing assets and talent to stimulate cultural and creative opportunities.

The Borough of Culture was first launched in St Helens in 2018, followed by Wirral 2019, Sefton 2020, Halton in 2021 and is currently held by Knowsley for 2022. The programme rotation will recommence in 2023 back in St Helens.