Artist Luke Jerram
By Luke Jerram. Installed 2020 at University of Bristol in Bristol, UK. Public art comes in many forms! This facility has a bench inside, so you can sit back and enjoy what feels like a rainbow conservatory!
In September 2019, Luke Jerram was approached by the production company 3D Produzioni in Milan about making an artwork to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Brunelleschi’s dome of Florence Cathedral (Duomo di Firenze). The artwork had to be at least 5m in height and fabricated quickly for a temporary presentation. The design and making of the artwork is currently being filmed for the programme.
Luke developed several concepts but the final artwork commissioned is based on a spiralling lamella dome structure. This dome is cut in half and the two halves placed in parallel, like two palms of each hand coming together in prayer.
While Florence Cathedral is a temple for contemplating God, this new artwork is designed for contemplating nature. Suspended in the apex of the dome will be an Extinction Bell, which tolls once, 150-200 times a day, at random intervals, indicating the number of species lost worldwide every 24 hours. This estimate of species loss is according to a 2007 UN Environmental Programme. The Extinction Bell raises awareness of the issue of biodiversity loss, makes audible events which are invisible to us, and which are occurring simultaneously across the world in multiple habitats.