Mars is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram.
Measuring seven metres in diameter, the artwork features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery* of the Martian surface. At around one million times smaller than the actual planet, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 10 kilometres of the surface of Mars.
The artwork allows us to view Mars from the air, as though we are a satellite mapping and studying the surface in perfect detail. Every valley, crater, volcano and mountain is laid bare for us to inspect. The artwork transports us to this desert wasteland, to imagine what it’s like to step foot on this incredible planet.
Mars follows on from my other touring astronomical artworks Museum of the Moon and Gaia, and allows a close encounter with the martian planet. I hope that visitors will feel transported to its inhospitable desert wasteland and in comparison, really value our life on Earth. Luke Jerram
Over its lifetime, Mars will be presented in a number of different ways both indoors and outdoors, so altering the experience and interpretation of the artwork. The installation is a fusion of Mars imagery, light and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones.
*The Mars artwork is made from NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data.
Mars as a venue for events
Mars also acts as a venue, with local hosts creating their own programme of events to take place beneath the artwork. Venues may choose to host music and orchestral performances, film nights, space lectures by astronomers, discussions with scientists. You might have some other interesting ideas?
Touring and in Permanent Collections
The Mars artwork is touring festivals and museums internationally. Editions of the artwork have also been acquired for the permanent collections of Houston Museum of Natural Science, Peoria Riverfront Museum in the USA and Questacon Museum in Australia. See also this 1m diameter Mini Mars sculpture Luke has made.
Mars follows on from Luke’s other astronomical artworks the Museum of the Moon and his Earth artwork Gaia.
Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally for 23 years, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. Find out more via his main website. In 2019 Luke Jerram was elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
*The imagery for the artwork has been compiled from MRO data – Visible Earth series, NASA.
Check out this MARS educational leaflet which will be distributed to visitors at exhibitions in the UK.