Skylight

30Oct14

“We don’t normally look at light. We’re generally looking at something light reveals.”

For those of you who stop by here from time to time you’ll perhaps be aware that I’ve already documented my enjoyment of staring into space on more than one occasion – and as member of The Cloud Appreciation Society I’ve also expressed my love of “visible masses of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a planetary body”. So quite why it’s taken me so long to become aware of James Turrell’s Skyspace over at Houghton Hall is beyond me.

Commissioned by the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley (sadly commissioning great pieces of artwork is not for likes of me and you) and constructed in 2004, ‘Seldom Seen’ is a one of Turrell’s Skyspaces – a handsome modernist wooden box hidden away in the nearby woods. And to a certain extent that’s about it. On venturing inside you’ll find benches running around the perimeter which in turn allows those who’ve got this far to look to the perfectly square hole framing the sky above.

So whilst I understand that I’m not exactly overselling Skyspace as a spectacle, you really do need to believe me that once you’re inside it’s a revelation.

I could if I had the time (and perhaps more importantly the literary capabilities) try and explain quite how affecting Skyspace is, but I don’t think I’d get even close so I won’t.

Instead I’ll point you in the direction of the various Skyspace installations that can be found scattered across the globe (with a recommendation to get to your nearest example sharpish) and this short video from Turrell’s website (where the quote above comes from) about the development of this simple yet extraordinary art.



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