Last year 60,000 people came to marvel at a mesmerising giant Moon – and for 2019 artist Luke Jerram is set to bring planet Earth to Liverpool.
Gaia, a 23ft replica of our own planet, will hang in Liverpool Cathedral for a week running up to this year’s River Festival, and then for much of June.
Visitors will be able to see the giant inflatable sculpture from May 25 to June 23.
And the installation will once again be accompanied by an atmospheric soundscape created by Ivor Novello and BAFTA Award-winning composer Dan Jones.
The artwork forms part of the Changing Tides creative programme, which in 2018 saw the Museum of the Moon installed in the cathedral well.
This year’s programme celebrates the port of Liverpool as an arrival and departure base for culture, music, food and wine from all over the globe.
Gaia will be in position for four weeks, and a programme of events and talks will take place under the Earth during its run.
Above: Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon. Top: You're looking at Planet Earth
Luke Jerram said: “I was delighted when the Museum of the Moon was presented at the Cathedral, and overwhelmed that 60,000 people experienced my work.
“Now I’ve made an artwork of the Earth, I’m interested in how people will react to this different experience and what their interpretation will be. For our entire human existence, we’ve been gazing up at the moon and projecting all our hopes concerns, dreams and wishes up there.
“Whereas it was only in 1968 that humanity was able to see our planet floating like a blue marble in space.
“I hope visitors to the Earth in Liverpool get to see our planet as if from space, as a floating fragile ball of life, an incredibly beautiful and precious ecosystem. A place we urgently need to look after - our only home.”
Other highlights taking place across the River Festival weekend include the UK premiere of The Urchins, an artwork consisting of large hand-crocheted works of art made of fishing nets and measuring more than 3m (10ft) high and nearly 6m (19ft) wide.
The fabric shell, designed by internationally award-winning architect Jin Choi, will float above the water and will be illuminated – creating beautiful glowing structures.
Work by Jola Kudela
Meanwhile Yolart is a new commission where the Pier Head will become a canvas for in-demand artist Jola Kudela who creates huge collages shown on unusual backdrops.
Kudela's work is part of Liverpool's RISE season celebrating the achievements of extraordinary women.
Mann Island will be taken over by Shipwreck: Receivers of the Wreck which will see a lone, broken ship act as a stage for a highly physical show featuring performances, aerial circus, dance and soundscapes to tell the tales of sailors, survivors, wreckers and rescuers. There will also be performances at Mann Island from world famous acrobatic troupe African Eagles and the Rhajistani heritage brass band.
And the golden age of Hollywood will take over the waterfront with On the Town – a new dance commission by House of Suarez. Expect a New-York inspired tap extravaganza to take over when you least expect it on land and on shore!
Gaia will be at Liverpool Cathedral from May 25 to June 23. River Festival Liverpool is on June 1-2.