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Art of Now: The World in Their Hands

We hear from one of the world’s last remaining globemakers and reflect on the globe’s cultural and symbolic currency.

We hear from one of the world’s last remaining globemakers and reflect on the globe’s cultural and symbolic currency.

While Google Earth may give us intricate detail of every inch of land, there’s nothing like clutching a globe to properly comprehend our place in the world. We’ve been fascinated by replicating our planet since ancient times; an art and science that’s developed as our understanding has evolved.

In this programme, we step into the studio of Bellerby & Co Globemakers, one of the few companies remaining that are making globes by hand today. From their Stoke Newington warehouse, we follow the journey of a globe from design to dispatch. We hear about the challenges they face daily, from retraining their hands to querying geopolitical protocol, and the customers who’ve commissioned their unique bespoke worlds.

Alongside this creative process, we visit installation artist Luke Jerram, who is touring his replica earth artwork, Gaia. We also hear from writer and cartography enthusiast Simon Garfield and globe conservator Sylvia Sumira to explore the rich history of globemaking as well as some bigger ideas around the influence of those who represent our planet to us. The globe is crucially illustrative of our shared experience. Do we need its symbol today more than ever?

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Photo by kind permission of Bellerby & Co Globemakers (credit: Sebastian Boettcher)
Gaia soundtrack courtesy of Luke Jerram and Dan Jones

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29 minutes

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Fi Glover and Jane Garvey

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Fi Glover and Jane Garvey roam the fields of broadcasting talking to interesting people.

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