Lonely Planet Writer

Don’t miss the largest 'breathing' ceramic sculpture in the world at the Eden Project

Breathe in and breathe out. Sitting proudly tall at nine metres and releasing vapour rings, a fascinating new artwork that’s said to be the world’s largest ceramic sculpture has debuted in Cornwall. The astonishing display is part of the Eden Project’s Invisible Worlds programme.

It’s an immersive experience. Image by Emily Whitfield

Weighing a colossal 20 tonnes – that’s around the weight of four Asian elephants – the sculpture pays homage to “cyanobacteria” which is ironically one of the world’s smallest living beings. Dubbed ∞ Blue (Infinity Blue), this immersive sculpture is the centrepiece of the permanent exhibition in Biomes eco-domes in Cornwall. The exhibition delves into “the untold and unseen stories of our planet beyond our senses: too big, too small, too fast, too slow and too far away in space and time.”

The ceramic is absolutely breathtaking. Image by Emily Whitfield

The structure features 32 cannons which project scented rings around visitors. The scents were created in collaboration with the Parisian perfume house Givaudan which in turn act as a starting point for this multisensory experience. Taking inspiration from the surrounding environment, its creators used materials to reflect the local mining history as well as teaming it with an accompanying film made that charts its Cornish origins.

Artists Alex and Azusa (Studio Swine) stand in front of their creation. Image by Emily Whitfield

∞ Blue is the brainchild of Japanese architect Azusa Murakami and British artist Alexander Groves of Studio Swine (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers). “Around three billion years ago, cyanobacteria first developed oxygenic photosynthesis. In doing so, they changed the nature of our planet,” they say. “In the same way that artists of the past would depict the sacred, our sculpture ∞ Blue gives physicality to the invisible elements our existence depends on; our breathable atmosphere, microbial life and deep time.”

Studio Swine’s ∞ Blue is now on permanent display at Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall. Find out more here.