Friday, August 22, 2014
Skyspace: James Turrell's Jewel in Philadelphia!
If thundershowers hadn't been threatened, we wouldn't have seen the extraordinary "closed roof" Skyspace light show by James Turrell last night at Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting (Quakers). "Sorry you missed the real thing" said one of the volunteers afterwards. But we did see the real thing - one aspect of it. We'll go again for open roof another time. But considering that the light changes with the seasons and time of day, most dramatically at dawn and dusk, rewarding repeat visitors with different experiences, maybe we'll go back more than once. The electronics are so delicate and complex that if rain is threatened they don't risk opening the roof.
We had brought our yoga mats and pillows so we could lay on the floor and just let the colors soak into us. I never felt so completely infused with pure color, sometimes so intense you could taste it. The pacing of the color changes induced a change in perception, a kind of meditative state vibratingly alive with color. I had been sorry to miss Turrell's show at the Guggenheim. In contrast, this venue is intimate and spiritual. Skyspace is a profound experience in a place of worship resonant with deep quiet and simplicity. Turrell himself is a lifelong Quaker. This installation gives new meaning to "seeking the inner light!"
The Chestnut Hill Skyspace, called Greet the Light, is a permanent art installation in the Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse which simply requires registration: http://chestnuthillskyspace.org/visit/. What a treasure both for Philadelphians and visitors to Philly!