The National Gallery has put out a media release on a huge new feature on the lake shore.
Titled “Within without” it’s the work of the American artist James Turrell and is described thusly:
The only work of its kind in Australia, the partly subterranean installation creates an immersive viewing experience that uses space, shape and light to affect the perception of the sky.
Ron Radford AM, Director of the National Gallery of Australia said, “We are thrilled to open this astonishing work, Within without by James Turrell, one of the world’s most visionary artists.”
“The National Gallery of Australia commissioned Within without the largest Skyspace in the southern hemisphere, and now the largest work in the national collection. One of Turrell’s most complex Skyspaces, the sculpture is prominently located in the new Australian Gardens near the new front entrance. Within without will provide an inspiring experience for all visitors to the National Gallery”, said Ron Radford.
Entered via a long sloping walkway, the threshold to Within without opens onto a large square-based pyramid, with red ochre walls. At the centre of the pyramid, a pool of turquoise water flows around a central chamber, a stupa, made from Victorian basalt.
The simple domed space interior has a bench around the edge. The roof is open to the sky which is framed by an oculus. A moonstone, set into the centre of the floor, echoes the aperture above.
Within the installation Turrell reveals his striking centrepiece, the sheer beauty of celestial architecture. Light seems more painterly. Movement and sound are intensified and the sky at times descends into the space.
“My interest is working with light and space; I have always been fascinated with the range of light at different locations around the world. The opportunity to create a Skyspace for the National Gallery of Australia in the clear light of Canberra was not to be missed. Within without offers an unhurried and unique perceptual experience,” said James Turrell.
At dawn and dusk, Within without is at its most dramatic and vibrant. A specially created light show heightens the experience and spaces – within and without – the installation.
The gallery has more pictures of this behemoth.
More importantly it’s open for a preview from tomorrow. 17 August to 22 August 10.30am to 4.30pm.
After that it appears you’ll have to wait until the grand opening of the expanded galleries.