I have been following James Turrell’s work online for a while now. Like many artists, I discovered his light and space architecural installations via social media and have been hooked ever since.
I finally had the opportunity to visit one of this Skyspaces, Air Apparent at ASU in Tempe, Arizona. The Skyspace series are enclosed sitting spaces designed to fit a dozen people or so with the main focal point being the sky above.
The experience becomes all about the light, the sky, and the connectivity of the sky’s color and light to the physical architecture of the space one is sitting in. The sky literally becomes one with the space and you feel like you can reach out and grab it.
This Skyspace in particular, at night, is illuminated by LED lighting that creates a vibrant colored atmosphere inside and visually pleasing color palettes between the all white ceiling and sky. The sky and the structure’s ceiling become one forming an illusion of the sky and architecture as if it was painted on a single canvas.
Often times I find public art that is highly popular on social media to be greater in photographs then in person and I’m often let down when I experience the work live. Turrell’s Skyspace was just the opposite. I was mesmerized by the colorful and geometrically composed photographs of the space and even more blown away by the actual experience.
I think I need to add all of Turrell’s Skyspaces to my “must see, must photograph” architectural installations. If you find yourself in the greater Pheonix area, make the trip to the ASU campus in Tempe to experience Air Apparent. You won’t be disappointed.