Luke Jerram's multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally for 18 years, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. He is also Visiting Senior Research Fellow at CFPR, University of West of England.
Jerram has a set of different narratives that make up his practice which are developing in parallel with one another. He is known worldwide for his large scale public engagement artworks. Most recently his giant installation Park and Slide caught the world's imagination. His celebrated street pianos installation 'Play Me, I'm Yours' has been presented in over 46 cities so far, reaching an audience to date of over 6 million people around the world. Launched by the French Minister of Culture in Paris and Mayor Bloomberg in NYC, the installation has received press coverage in almost every newspaper and television station around the globe.
The Sky Orchestra is another critically acclaimed large scale touring project, which grew out of a three year NESTA Fellowship Jerram was awarded in 2001. In 2013 they flew over Derry/Londonderry for UK City of Culture. In 2011 the Mayor of London and LIFT commissioned Sky Orchestra to fly over London to celebrate the Olympics, and 30th anniversary of the LIFT festival. In 2007 they launched the Sydney Festival and in 2006 they were commissioned by the RSC and Fierce to fly over Statford-Upon-Avon.
Jerram's Glass Microbiology artworks are in museum collections around the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Shanghai Museum of Glass, Wellcome Collection (London) and Corning Museum of Glass (USA). In 2010 Jerram won the coveted Rakow Award for this work and a fellowship at the Museum of Glass, Washington. In 2009 his sculptures were presented at Mori Museum, Tokyo along with work by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Leonardo da Vinci. Jerram's sculptures are also respected in the scientific community with features in The Lancet, Scientific American, The BMJ and on the front cover of Nature Magazine.
Jerram giving an informal, late night 12minute lecture in London.
Many different organisations have commissioned Luke's work over the years. From within the arts these inlude: Royal Shakespeare Company, Pan Am Games, Sydney Festival, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, LIFT, The Mayor of London, ICA, Arnolfini, Watershed, National Trust, Commonwealth Games, UK City of Culture, European Capital of Culture. Art Centre Melbourne, Jerwood Centre, De la Warr Pavillion, Witte de With, City of London Festival.
From the Academic and Scientific Community these organisations have commissioned work: Pirbright Institute, University of Salford, KREBS University of Sheffield, Phaeno Science Museum, Wellcome Trust, Singapore ArtScience Museum, Bristol and Bath Science Park, ISVR University of Southampton.
Jerram has also created unusual gift artworks for his friends and family. In 2006 he made a Talking Engagement Ring for his girlfriend. The ring has his proposal etched onto the outside of it which can be played back using a miniature record player. In 2011, the Talking Ring project was presented at MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
Jerram builds and manages specialist teams of engineers, craftsmen and technicians to help him realise his works. From composers to glassblowers, medieval musicologists to hot air balloonists. In this way, he says "I'm only limited by my imagination in what can be produced. Anything is possible."
Working with the ISVR (Institute of Sound and Vibration Research), University of Southampton the team were awarded a major grant from EPSRC and a further grant from the Arts Council England to design, build and tour his artwork Aeolus.
Jerram’s ongoing research of perception is fueled by the fact that he is colour-blind. He studies the qualities of space and perception in extreme locations, from the freezing forests of lapland to the sand dunes of the Sahara desert. New ways of seeing and new artworks emerge from these research field trips. Works such as Retinal Memory Volume, Sky Orchestra and his Glass Microbiology series have emerged from Jerram exploring the edges of perception. Published by The Watershed, 'Art in Mind' is a book written by Jerram that tracks much of his perceptual research.
Interview with Luke by Pangaea Sculptors Centre about his practice
Jerram also works as a creative consultant where he feels confident in applying his creativity to any new situation. In 2007 his presentation in London to the DCSF helped secure £0.5million of funding for interactive exhibits in Bideford school. Clients include RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company), the Wellcome Trust, Channel4 and the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company). Launched by the Queen of England in 2010 the RSC Gallery led from this consultancy work.
In 2000 Jerram taught in war torn Mostar, Bosnia and he continues to teach and lecture both in the UK and abroad. His most notable lectures include those at The European Space Agency, The Banff Centre, ROM - Royal Ontario Museum, ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Corning Museum, Wellcome Collection, Royal Collage of Art, The Ruskin School of Art, University of Washington, Nagoya University.
Luke Jerram lives in Bristol UK with his wife Shelina Jerram and two children.