Published On: February 7, 2024303 words1.5 min read

Nowadays, it is not unusual for contemporary artists to be commissioned to display their works of art in places of worship. I have been fortunate in that respect and my sculptures now reside in several churches, including ‘Crucifix’ at St. Philip the Apostle, Finchley, London N3 and ‘Mother and Child’ at St. John the Baptist Church, Chipping Barnet, Herts. The crucifix commissioned in 1979 was in a traditional style and the semi-abstract carving was created from the original stone of the West door when the church was renovated in the early 21st century.

Exhibits and commissions of this type have now moved on to include the abstract styles of the 2020s including conceptual art and installations. An exciting example of this type of work is an installation entitled ’Gaia’ by Luke Jerram, now shown in Tewkesbury Abbey until 20th February 2024.

Although not a religious subject, ‘Gaia’ is based on a subject deeply concerning to us all – the preservation of our natural world and its place in the universe. Suspended from the medieval nave of the Abbey, this seven-metre balloon depicts the planet Earth as it appears from space. It is internally lit and accompanied by an impressive sound, which gives the viewers a sense of wonder and an immersive experience.

If you miss this amazing work of art at Tewkesbury, you may be able to catch it at Lincoln Cathedral before it moves to the USA and Canada. The original was first seen in 2018 and since then has been editioned so that these amazing works can tour the world carrying their thought-provoking but beautiful message.

Luke Jerram, born in 1974, is well known for his thought-provoking sculptures and installations which take different forms. You can see this work and other examples at

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