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Spectacular recreation of Mars lands in Bristol

Press release issued: 19 July 2021

Travel 226 million miles in a day as a stunningly accurate recreation of the planet Mars comes to Bristol.

The seven-metre diameter sculpture will be open to the UK public for the first time from Tuesday (July 27) to Sunday (August 1), when it is displayed in the University of Bristol’s iconic Wills Memorial Building.

Mars is the latest piece by Luke Jerram, whose public art includes the spectacular Palm Temple (found at the University of Bristol), over 2,000 ‘street pianos’ he placed in cities around the world and a 90-metre slide down Bristol’s Park Street.

His critically acclaimed art often has a strong space theme, including giant sculptures of the moon and the Earth. Mars is the latest creation in this series.

The artwork uses NASA imagery to capture the planet in forensic detail, with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture representing 10 kilometres of the surface of Mars. It is presented with a specially commissioned Mars surround sound composition by Dan Jones.

Luke, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bristol in 2020, said: “This will be the first time I’ll have presented Mars slowly revolving, so I’m excited to see how this movement gives life to the sculpture.

“It’s a great pleasure to bring this new work to Bristol and the Great Hall of the Wills Building is such a great venue. I’m sure all the geologists and astronomers at the University will be excited to see Mars up close.”

Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring Gaia Earth Artwork was hosted by Cabot Institute for the Environment in the Wills Memorial Building in 2019 and the Museum of the Moon was displayed there in 2017. 

Judith Squires, University of Bristol Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, said: “After a really challenging year we wanted to do something special for our staff and students.

“It is great to mark their achievements with another breath-taking sculpture from Luke Jerram and we hope that this inspirational synergy of art and science will speak to their University experience. 

“Although Mars is only with us for a short time we are keen to ensure that the people of Bristol also have a chance to see it.”

For more details and information on how to book tickets to see Mars click here

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