The breathtaking replica earth art installation that’s previously drawn crowds in Wigan, Salford, and Rochdale is finding a new home in Oldham this month.
The captivating and internationally-renowned work of art – which most-notably spent some time floating on the waters of both Pennington Flash Nature Reserve and Salford Quays at the back end of 2021, before sadly having to be taken down due to adverse weather conditions – will be exhibited inside the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Oldham town centre from Saturday 26 February as part of the popular Illuminate festival.
Created by renowned artist Luke Jerram, and featuring a specially-made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning composer, Dan Jones, the earth replica – which is named Gaia – was created from detailed NASA imagery of the earth’s surface.
It provides visitors with the opportunity to the planet we call home on a huge scale, floating in three dimensions.
The artwork aims to create a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’ – which is a common reaction by astronauts who have seen the real thing.
Jerram – who is known worldwide for his large-scale public artworks – said he has created the work to give visitors “a feeling of awe” for the planet, a “profound understanding of the interconnection of all life”, and a “renewed sense of responsibility” for taking care of the environment.
Oldham Council is confident that Gaia – which means ‘the personification of the Earth’ in Greek mythology – will be a great addition to this year’s Illuminate festival, which is returning for its fifth year and gives people the chance to see the town in a new light.
Visitors planning on heading down to Illuminate 2022 can explore the illuminated townscape from Oldham Library and Gallery Oldham, right through to Parliament Square and on to the Queen Elizabeth Hall to see all the mesmerising illuminated installations and dazzling performances.
The packed programme of events includes ‘Spin Me A Yarn’ from Studio Vertigo in the Gallery Oldham gardens, and the ‘Moon Gazing Hare’ where digital art and puppetry come together to create a wondrous projection on the Old Town Hall façade by leading digital artists Illuminos and Global Grooves.
You can also see the ‘Nova’ star installation at Oldham Parish Church, and check out Zarah Hussain’s exhibition ‘Light Upon Light’ at Gallery Oldham.
There’ll also be live music, family crafts, and light painting at Oldham Library too.
Illuminate 2022 will kick-off on Saturday 26 February with a breathtaking procession of community-made lanterns led by the world-renowned SPARK, accompanied by illuminated giant puppets and performances from some of the UK’s leading light performers.
Speaking ahead of the much-loved festival’s arrival in the city once again, Cllr Arooj Shah – Leader of Oldham Council – said: “It’s great to have Illuminate back in Oldham as it’s one of the most spectacular events in the borough.
“With so many installations and performances to see it is sure to not disappoint.
“Gaia has been seen around the world so to get it on display in the town centre as part of the festival is a real coup for Oldham.
“I hope Gaia will spark the imagination of those who visit in lots of ways and inspire them to think about the changes we can make to tackle climate change, which is having a huge impact on all of us.”
Illuminate 2022 is free to attend, and Gaia will be on show inside the Queen Elizabeth Hall from 26 February – 1st March.
Saturday 26February: 6pm – 9pm
Sunday 27 February: 10am – 4pm
Monday 28 February: 10am – 4pm
Tuesday 1 March: 10am – 4pm
You can find out more about what’s on at Illuminate 2022 here.
Featured Image – Oldham Council
There’s a coffee subscription service that supports independent Manchester cafes
A raft of Manchester’s very best coffee shops are listed on a subscription service with a difference, supporting independents across the city.
Coffee Club can save caffeine fiends up to £350 a year on their barista-made drinks through discounts at thousands of cafes.
As well as its 25% discounts, the creators of the app are also about to host a massive giveaway of totally free coffee for Mancs.
A van will be driven around the city centre on 5 and 6 October – anyone who snaps it and scans the QR code will be able to claim a free drink from any Black Sheep Coffee locations in Manchester.
The freebies will be on a first-come, first-served basis on both Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 October – a perfect way to power through to the end of the week.
A giant Coffee Club-branded coffee cup will also be placed in a mystery location in Manchester.
Anyone who snaps a photo of the cup and shares it with the hashtag #sipandsavemcr, also following @wearecoffeeclub on Instagram, will be in with a chance of winning £500 worth of coffee vouchers.
Even if you miss out on the giveaways, Coffee Club can get you big savings on your coffee order.
There are 75 independent businesses around Manchester that are listed on the app, including Ditto Coffee, Foundation Coffee, Bold Street Coffee, Alvarium, Rollers Café, Home Café and Mustard, as well as big-name coffee chains such as Caffe Nero.
You can get 25% off coffee, seven days a week – and the subscription is just £2.99 a month, with a free 30-day trial.
A new NYC-style pizza bar is opening in Warrington’s Time Square
A new New York-style pizza bar is opening next month in Warrington’s very own £142 million Time Square development.
Called Parlour, it will serve up its NYC-style pizzas by the slice and as huge 22-inch pies from 11.30am every day.
As well as time-honoured favourites like margarita and pepperoni, Parlour’s pizza options will also a range of specials including a bee-themed pizza with chilli honey and a ‘controversial’ option with a Dr Pepper BBQ sauce.
Elsewhere, look out for The Controversial (tomato, mozzarella, pineapple and roast ham finished with rocket, parmesan and a Dr Pepper sauce), the Club Med (tomato, feta, spiced chicken, red onion) and the Vegan Deluxe (tomato, vegan’duja, courgette ribbons, Roquito pepper pearls, red onion, evoo and vegan parmesan.)
The handcrafted pizzas will be complemented by an eclectic menu of small plates ranging from tater tots and sticky sausages to mac n’ cheese alongside a range of delicious salads and healthy options.
As for drinks, Parlour will stock a range of independently-brewed craft beers and cocktails.
Think craft beers from Manchester favourite Shindigger as well as Liverpool’s Love Lane Brewery and specialty cocktails celebrating a host of locally-made spirits.
You’ll also find classics like the espresso martini and mojito served alongside twists on favourites like the spiced Pornstar, watermelon and black pepper margarita and the Bridge Street zombie, which consists of three rums, balanced with pineapple, orange, guava, passionfruit and lime finished with a drizzle of absinthe.
Elsewhere, weekly ‘Bloody Mary Sundays’ will see Parlour working with the Warrington Market and sourcing different ingredients to create a different Bloody Mary each week.
Elsewhere, look out for The Controversial (tomato, mozzarella, pineapple, and roast ham, finished with rocket, parmesan and a Dr Pepper bbq sauce; Club Med – Tomato sauce, feta, spiced chicken, tomato, red onion and Vegan Deluxe – Tomato sauce, vegan’duja, courgette ribbons, Roquito pepper pearls, red onion, evoo and vegan parmesan.
James Wrigley, Director of Parlour Bar + Eatery, said “It’s not long now until we open our doors and welcome the Warrington community to Parlour.
“We think it will perfectly complement everything that’s going on at Time Square, adding another layer of buzz to an already thriving destination. We’ve been working hard to ensure that we’ve got the food and drink right – it’s a real labour of love and we can’t wait for guests to come and enjoy it.”
Parlour will open its doors on 7 October at Time Square in Warrington.