Date: 
Friday, November 29, 2019 - 17:45

A stunning artwork has been unveiled at the Eden Project for the opening of the Festival of Christmas tomorrow (Saturday November 30).

Gaia by Luke Jerram is a spectacular illuminated globe suspended over the citrus grove in the Mediterranean Biome. It measures seven metres in diameter and boasts detailed NASA imagery of the Earth's surface.

It is designed to show the Earth as it would be viewed from space, demonstrating the beauty and fragility of our home planet and communicating the urgent need to look after it.

The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the real Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth’s surface.

Unlike the moon, which humans have been gazing at for millennia, the first time humankind got to see the Earth as a "blue marble" floating in space was in 1968 with NASA’s Apollo 8 mission.

Tamsyn Lewis, Eden’s Senior Programme Lead, said: "Gaia is a breath-taking addition to our Festival of Christmas season. It is visually stunning and we hope it gives our visitors a unique perspective on the fragility of our planet."

Festival of Christmas also features a new Father and Mother Christmas experience, the project’s biggest ever Christmas music programme, beautiful lighting, a giant Christmas tree and a Christmas jumper swap shop.

Father Christmas sessions are bookable and take place during the day and some early evenings during weekends from November 30 to December 15. From December 18 to Christmas Eve there are sessions every day. Pre-booking is essential and many timeslots have already sold out.

Relaxed sessions for children with autism spectrum condition, sensory and communications needs or learning disabilities, who may benefit from a more informal experience, are also available to book.

The full Festival of Christmas programme takes place on selected evenings from November 30 and all activities, with the exception of Father Christmas and ice-skating, are included in Eden admission. The ice rink is open daily throughout the Christmas season.

For more details and to book tickets, see www.edenproject.com.