What's On

Gaia at Symondsbury

Experience our planet in a new awe-inspiring way.

  • 24-26 September 2021
  • Park Copse, Symondsbury Estate

This is a past event

In Greek Mythology Gaia is the personification of the Earth. Enjoy contemplating this spectacular artwork in the tranquil woodland of Symondsbury Estate.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, Luke Jerram’s Gaia features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface*. This huge artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet like never before, floating in three-dimensions.

The artwork also acts as a mirror to major events in society. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, you may gain a new perspective of your place on the planet; a sense that we are all connected and have a responsibility toward one another. After the lockdown, there has been a renewed respect for nature.

The installation creates a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Experienced by astronauts, they describe this as feeling in awe of the planet, gaining a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. 

A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture.

Gaia has been created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot and the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres.

*The imagery for the artwork has been compiled from Visible Earth series, NASA.

A message to visitors to Inside Out Dorset festival at Symondsbury, today, Sunday 26 September – We’ve had a fantastic couple of days at Symondsbury Estate. With Autumn upon us, we have had to make the difficult decision to close the exhibition of Gaia early today for safety reasons as the wind speeds have picked up this afternoon and are forecast to increase. We are sorry to disappoint people and have not taken the decision lightly.

Last entry to Gaia from the car park will be at 6.30pm this evening and we will clear the site by 7.30-8pm. Please be aware, it takes around 30 minutes to walk to Gaia and obviously the same to return.

With thanks for your understanding and support. The IOD team.

Please note that Gaia is located in Park Copse, at Symondsbury Estate (Fri 24-Sun 26 Sept). Park Copse is a considerable (40 minute) walk from the main car park and we are suggesting visitors allow 2 hours to walk to Gaia, experience the globe and the soundtrack and walk back. Please also bring a torch with you if visiting after dark. We have lighting but a torch is always useful in rural countryside.

An accessible description of Gaia can be downloaded at this link

About the artist

Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally since 1997, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. Jerram has a set of different narratives that make up his practice which are developing in parallel with one another. He is known worldwide for his large scale public artworks.

 Gaia is supported by Arts Council EnglandDCMS, DorsetAONBDorset CouncilSymondsbury Estate, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Jerwood Arts, Artful Scribe, The Garrick Club Charitable Trust, The Leche Trust, LAND and The Green Carpet.


Gaia is located within Park Copse, a dramatic woodland in Symondsbury Estate with rough tracks and steep gradients located 1.5km from the main car park.

Unfortunately, this site is not suitable for wheelchair users.

If you are unable to attend Gaia at Symondsbury, consider visiting Gaia at Moors Valley from 17-19 September.


Gaia digital streaming

So that as many people as possible can enjoy the awe inspiring spectacle of Gaia, we are very excited that Gaia at Symondsbury will be streamed as live via the Inside Out Dorset festival Facebook page between 6.30PM and 9.30PM on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September.

Plan Your Visit

With the current climate crisis, we try to work in a greener way and understand that we all need to be part of the solution in protecting our planet. We encourage you to consider how you get to the festival and adapt to ‘greener’ ways if possible. Follow this link to plan your visit and read full access information.

Back to top