Found in: Projects
Photo of Maya by Luke Jerram


Internationally renowned artist Luke Jerram's sculpture experiments with innovative digital technology and optical illusion.

An intriguing experimental sculpture of a young girl standing alone and gazing at her mobile phone was installed on Platform 3 at Bristol's Temple Meads Station in July 2013.

Maya is a unique three-dimensional pixelated portrait created by Bristol-based internationally renowned artist, Luke Jerram, who is also a long term Watershed collaborator. From a distance, the sculpture is clear to see but as you move closer, it disconcertingly appears to fragment into cubes.

Artist Luke Jerram explains more about Maya:

"Every occasion of our lives now seems to be documented with the plethora of cameras we carry around. Billions of images are uploaded onto the internet every year. From a distance, people coming through the station may be almost concerned to see what looks like a young girl stood by herself, but as they move closer, she will pixelate just like a computer image does."

To create the artwork, Luke scanned his young daughter using an Xbox Kinect. Her head was scanned at the Machine Vision Laboratory at the University of the West of England. Both scans were combined and pixelated into cubes, known as voxels. The model was then made from precision cut sheets of aluminum. Over 5000 coloured stickers were printed and painstakingly fixed onto the aluminum. Printing was completed at the Centre for Fine Print Research, where Luke is a Senior Research Fellow. 

Learn more about how this sculpture was made in this short video:

Maya was part of a series of Bristol Temple Quarter commissions, coordinated by WatershedKnowle West Media Centre and MAYK, with support from Bristol City Council and Arts Council England. The projects were designed to pop up, excite and re-invent perceptions and potentials. 

Image by Farrows Creative

Ended in July 2013