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A huge 3D replica of Mars as seen from space has been unveiled in a London church. Seven metres (nearly 23ft) in diameter, Mars: War & Peace, created by the renowned British installation artist Luke Jerram, has gone on display at St John the Baptist Church as part of the Kensington & Chelsea Festival.

Creating the planet

Jerram has held us all spellbound in recent years, with his luminescent sculptures of Earth and the Moon — placed in historical halls — even swimming pools. Now, there’s a chance to witness a different part of our solar system. Mars follows a familiar format to the artist’s other works. The sphere is around one million times smaller than the actual planet, with each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture representing 10 kilometres of the surface of Mars.

Exploring The Red Planet

Formed using detailed Nasa imagery of Mars’ surface, the artwork provides the public with the opportunity to see the planet floating in three dimensions, while it slowly rotates. Every valley, crater, volcano and mountain is laid bare for us to inspect. The large-scale sculpture transports us to this desert wasteland, to imagine what it’s like to step foot on this incredible planet.

Touring astronomical artwork

Mars will appear at different sites across the Kensington & Chelsea Festival throughout July and August. Moreover, each venue programmes their own series of cultural events, including organ recitals, to coincide with the installation. It’s totally free to view the sculpture and attend the festival at both indoor and outdoor locations in the borough but prebooking online is required.

More information can be found here.


Image credits: © Dave Parry, Press Association