James Turrell
International artist talk
Saturday 11 March 2006

Internationally renowned American artist James Turrell speaks about Skyspaces and his life’s work, Roden Crater in Arizona

James Turrell is obsessed with the exploration of light in his art. Turrell’s aim is to make environments that enhance natural light and dark in such a way that you question the source of the light and your perceptions of what you are seeing. Skyspaces are simple, elegant viewing chambers that frame the sky as pure colour and show us ‘the changing light of the sky, altering what we see with our own eyes’. Skyspaces position us in the moment and reconnect us to the world we inhabit.

As Turrell explains, ‘we are dwellers at the bottom of the ocean of air. We create the colour and shape of the sky. It does not exist outside the self’. Roden Crater is one of the largest and most audacious works of art in the world. In 1979 Turrell bought an 1100 acre site containing a volcano and began to develop the site as the ultimate Skyspace. Turrell’s vision is to create a number of chambers within the volcano where visitors will experience the sight of the sun and moon, and rare celestial alignments.

This is a sign interpreted lecture

Admission: $8 Adults; $5 Concession
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra