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Skyspace for new Friends Meeting in Chestnut Hill

Open sky space for new Friends meeting House

 

This is a sky space in Pomona in California and I think these are houses maybe in Connecticut.  I’m not quite sure. But his work is all over the word now. But none on the East Coast is open year round to the public. There’s a sky space at the Modern Art Museum PS1 annex …There’s a Turrel there. And I didn’t understand all the fuss until I went and saw that. It’s astonishing. You take the freight elevator to the second floor of this old school building and the corridors painted bright enamel green. You walk down the corridor and there’s a little green door that says “Meeting by James Turrell” You open this little green door and inside is a white chamber filled with light.  And there are people sitting all around the perimeter on benches. And you know these kids in New York with their piercings and their blue hair. And you know they’re very hip artists. They’re silent looking up at this great opening to the sky. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SKY SPACE? Well it’s a hole in the roof. It’s an aperture that is so cunningly designed there’s no architectural feature. You can’t tell that it’s constructed. It is just a diamond in the sky, coming down… It’s a retractable roof so obviously when it’s raining, you got to cover it. It opens up and there’s no glass, it’s just open to the air. And you sit under this. I went in February when it was 21 degrees Fahrenheit so it was very cold. So we sat all huddled under our blankets looking at this. And during the day you just see the clouds going by like the geese or the contrails of the jet planes…It’s at sunset and sunrise that it has the most dramatic-it’s the change of color, the change of the light. Turrell has some very small lighting around the outside that is a contrasting color. So what happens is the color becomes more and more saturated…. It’s intensely blue so it’s in contrast with this color. It’s very gradual very slow, it takes maybe 45 minutes for the color to change and change and darken…

Jean Warrington, Clerk of the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting at the Chestnut Hill Library. See http://www.chfmnewmeetinghouse.org

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