A giant globe hanging over Key Biscayne’s Monaco reflecting pools is drawing more than oohs and ahhs from the hundreds coming to look and pose for pictures.
It’s also making people reflect about the fragility of planet Earth. And that’s what artist Luke Jerram intended.
“People get emotional about it,” Jerram said of the photo-realistic globe measuring 23 feet in diameter, which is being installed in different locations around the world.
“It’s going into science museums, but it’s also going into cathedrals and all sorts of concert halls and festivals,” he said in an interview from Bristol, England.
“Perhaps it acts as a focus point for people to think about the climate crisis and what we need to do to avoid climate catastrophe.”
Listen to the full interview here
Suspended by wires and nestled against palm trees, the work “Gaia” is based on NASA satellite imagery taken in 2014 for a representation that is 1.8 million times smaller than the real earth.
Patrcia Peranti was among those who came to get a good look, along with her nine-year old son Joaquim, whose Crocs shoes had a little planet decoration emblazoned with a heart.
“I think we are not caring enough. We need to take better care,” she said.
The immersive nature of Gaia had visitors from all over Miami visiting — sometimes getting down on the ground to get the globe into scale. Anabel Plasencia came from Allapattah, striking a pose so that it looked like the Earth was within her hands while friends snapped away.
Gaia will be on Key Biscayne three days each week through the weekend of May 7, and is lit from sundown to to midnight. Tonight (Sunday), it will be up until midnight. The full schedule of Earth Day events is here
Admission is free.
The installation is being displayed under the auspices of a number of organizations, including the Village of Key Biscayne, the Key Biscayne Community Foundation,and the Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce. Details of the cost and funding were not immediately available.
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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.