The Overview Effect is the name given to the profound sense of awe felt by astronauts as they ascend into space, look back at our home planet and realise what a wonderful, precious miracle it is that – in the midst of a dark, soundless vacuum with no other discernible signs of life – the Earth exists.
And fortunately you’ll soon be able enjoy a similar taste of enlightenment (without needing to first befriend a space-travelling billionaire) when a giant illuminated globe lands in a 125-year old cathedral above a group of Ronnie Scott’s musicians performing spine-tingling sets of live jazz.
The globe in question is Luke Jerram’s Gaia, a 7m-wide scale replica of the Earth created using detailed NASA imagery which has been touring the world for several years now, hanging out in a variety of jaw-dropping settings, from the Natural History Museum to Italian castles and botanical gardens in Canada. And this October, it’ll be on display in the 125 year-old Southwark Cathedral, surrounded by soaring columns and gothic arches. Pretty stunning.
It’ll be completely free to visit during the day, when you can sit back, watch the Earth revolve and listen to the bespoke soundtrack composed by BAFTA winner Dan Jones. Or you can buy tickets to visit at night, when the globe’s illumination will stand out all the more.
However, Southwark Cathedral is also putting on a series of special events beneath the earth, including a spine-tingling concert with the cathedral choir; an evening of live jazz (and bubbly) with Ronnie Scott’s regulars The Leo Richardson Quartet; and a candlelit screening of David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet.
It’s a very literal way of reminding us that the Earth’s future…
…hangs by a thread.
NOTE: Gaia is at Southwark Cathedral took place from 11th-30th October 2022.
Gaia | Southwark Cathedral, London SE1 9DA
Like discovering unusual things to do in London? Check out your Monthly Agenda