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Explore Mars with University graduate Luke Jerram’s latest amazing work

The latest awe-inspiring work by University of Gloucestershire alumnus and internationally acclaimed artist Luke Jerram is among the most exciting projects at the 2023 Kensington and Chelsea Festival.

Mars: War and Peace features state-of-the-art NASA imagery that allows visitors to study the Martian surface in perfect detail from the air, including every valley, crater, volcano and mountain on the Red Planet.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, with each centimetre representing 10 kilometres of the Martian surface, the stunning work enables visitors to the festival in London to imagine it’s like to step foot on Mars.

Luke Jerram

Accompanying the sculpture is a specially created sound composition by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones. Featuring the sounds of seas, deserts, and clips from NASA missions to Mars, it also incorporates the sounds of distant bombing and people marching, as if to war.

Luke’s latest work follows one of his best-known projects Museum of the Moon, which was experienced by more than 15 million people worldwide, with host venues including Gloucester Cathedral, the Glastonbury Festival, and the Commonwealth Games in Australia.  

Last year, Luke (pictured) received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University for his significant international career in the field of public artwork. He studied Art Foundation at the Cheltenham College of Art, once of the predecessors of the University, which inspired his highly successful career. 

Luke said: “Mars: War and Peace follows on from my other touring astronomical artworks Museum of the Moon and Gaia, allowing a close encounter with the Martian planet.

“Presented with a new soundtrack for the first time at Kensington and Chelsea Festival, I hope that visitors will feel transported to its inhospitable desert wasteland, whilst also being faced to contemplate the bleak realities of war on our planet.” 

This summer will be the first time that Mars: War and Peace has been installed in a church setting and a new soundscape has been created especially for the festival.

The installation will appear at three different sites across the festival: St John the Baptist Church (W14 8AH) until Sunday 30 July 2023; All Saints’ Church (W11 1JS) from Monday 31 July to Tuesday 8 August; Jubilee Square (W8 7NX), an outdoor setting on from Thursday 10 August to Sunday 13 August. Tickets will be required, but all locations will be free to visit.

Image: Mars: War and Peace, designed and created by University graduate Luke Jerram, at St John the Baptist Church (credit: Dave Parry, Press Association)