Gaia set to Illuminate Oldham

SEE the stunning replica of planet Earth in Oldham Town Centre

A stunning internationally renowned work of art, Gaia, will be exhibited inside the Queen Elizabeth Hall from Saturday 26 February, as part of Oldham’s Illuminate festival.

Gaia was created from detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface by artist Luke Jerram and provides an opportunity to see the planet on a huge scale, floating in three dimensions. It will form the headline art instillation for this year’s Illluminate festival, returning to Oldham for its fifth year.

Recently seen by delegates at COP26 in Glasgow, the seven-metre-wide globe allows viewers to see the Earth through the eyes of an astronaut, inspiring awe and a sense of urgency for taking care of the planet. Music specially composed by BAFTA-award winning composer Dan Jones will be played alongside the sculpture.

On opening night on Saturday 26 February, the evening will start at 6pm with a lantern procession led by musicians and larger than life illuminate giant puppets from Gallery Oldham to Parliament Square. From there you’re free to wander through the town taking in the other exhibitions as you see Oldham in a new light.

Other installations include a giant illuminated ball of yarn named ‘Spin Me A Yarn’ from Studio Vertigo in the Gallery Oldham gardens and ‘Moon Gazing Hare’ where digital art and puppetry come together to create a wondrous projection on the Old Town Hall façade by leading digital artists Illuminos and Global Grooves.

There’s also a Nova star installation at Oldham Parish church and a chance to see Zarah Hussain’s exhibition ‘Light Upon Light’ at Gallery Oldham, alongside live music, family crafts and light painting at Oldham Library.

Cllr Arooj Shah, Oldham Council Leader, said: “Illuminate is one of the most spectacular events in the borough and it’s great to see it back in Oldham. With so many installations and performances to see, it’s sure to not disappoint.

“The Gaia display is due to take centre stage and it’s a real coup for the town. I know it will spark the imagination of everyone who visits and hope it will inspire us all to think about the changes we need to make to tackle climate change.”

Gaia is on show inside the Queen Elizabeth Hall from 26 February – 1 March.

Saturday 26 February, 6pm – 9pm
Sunday 27 February, 10am – 4pm
Monday 28 February, 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 1 March, 10am – 4pm

For more on Illuminate – please visit

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