Birkenhead Park awaits the world’s arrival

Organisers of this year’s Borough of Culture programme for Wirral never promised residents and visitors the Earth but – in a manner of speaking – that is just what they are delivering.

The Earth in this case is artist Luke Jerram’s iconic ‘Gaia’ exhibition, a three-dimensional representation of our planet, which is coming to Birkenhead Park for three days towards the end of May.

Measuring seven metres in diameter and created from NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, through ‘Gaia’, Luke is providing everyone with the opportunity to examine our planet close up, floating in three dimensions.

Luke said, “I am delighted that my Gaia artwork will be part of this important programme which makes culture available to everyone in the area.

“Presented in the landmark Birkenhead Park, 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.”

Wirral Council is partnering with the internationally-renowned outdoor arts organisation ‘Walk the Plank’ to deliver a programme that is inspired by Wirral’s unique location and heritage – celebrating the past, while also looking ahead to the future.

There will be lots of activities led by fantastic Wirral-based creatives and organisations, involving singing, dancing, playing, watching, listening, writing, painting, making, cheering, and clapping – and it is hoped as many residents and visitors join in too.

Bev Ayre, Senior Producer at Walk the Plank, said, “We’re delighted to bring some Walk the Plank magic to Wirral’s Borough of Culture and to showcase Gaia, local artists and community groups in an inventive programme of activities and events.”

‘Gaia’ will be installed and on display in Birkenhead Park from Tuesday, 28 May, until Thursday, 30 May. It is an accompanying piece to Luke’s similarly iconic and important work, the Museum of the Moon, that was displayed in Wirral at Birkenhead Town Hall as part of the celebrations the last time Wirral was Borough of Culture in 2019.

Hosting ‘Gaia’ in the expanse of Wirral’s flagship park presents an opportunity for organisers to present a programme of community cultural events surrounding the exhibit and local artists and community groups have already expressed an interest in taking part. The full programme will be published nearer the time on visitwirral.com.

The choice of the historic setting of Birkenhead Park for the exhibition is also significant in that the park is currently one of only seven UK sites on the country’s Tentative List for being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Image: credit: Tom Martin. Music under Gaia. Kendall Calling, UK

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