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“Within without” Massive monumental sculpture comes to the National Gallery

By johnboy - 16 August 2010 11

Within without 2010

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
“Within without” Massive monumental sculpture comes to the National Gallery
Holden Caulfield 3:04 pm 17 Aug 10

p1 said :

Looks funky from above.

Indeed.

They have also done a bit of work in the last 6-7 months!

Holden Caulfield 2:31 pm 17 Aug 10

I checked this out at lunch time. It is really quite good.

Apparently they are doing some morning/evening viewings this week but they are all booked out and seemed to be offered to people with some connection to the NGA.

The staff member I spoke to mentioned the gallery extension could still be up to 8 weeks away from opening, although he didn’t offer a firm date. So it’s this week of previews and then no public access until the opening.

However, the site is very accessible with no perimeter fencing so I’m not too sure how they will close it down, short of having a security guard on permanent watch whenever it supposed to be closed.

The cat did it 1:56 pm 17 Aug 10

I’m sure the waterbirds of Canberra would like to thank Mr Turrell for his contribution to their habitat.

p1 12:26 pm 17 Aug 10
Holden Caulfield 10:43 am 17 Aug 10

On the ABC News last night it was mentioned there will be special sunrise/sunset viewings at some stage in the future.

CraigT 7:29 am 17 Aug 10

Brilliant!

More “art” from the school of “If you can’t make it good, at least make it oversize!”

sexynotsmart 9:07 pm 16 Aug 10

Awesome factor spf30+! I remember once watching a doco on similar installations. There was a chapel or mausoleum where the different black surfaces changed, depending on when you were viewing.

And I hate to be a wet blanket, but my high spirits were diluted by this from the nga website:
“From spring 2010 Within without will be open daily 10.00 am – 4.30 pm.”

Why o why would you preclude viewing at dawn and dusk? Surely those are the periods where the light contrast grows most.

I really hope nga runs some ‘out-of-hours’ sessions for this particular piece.

Jethro 8:51 pm 16 Aug 10

At dawn and dusk, Within without is at its most dramatic and vibrant…

More importantly it’s open for a preview from tomorrow. 17 August to 22 August 10.30am to 4.30pm.

According to the website, when it opens permanently, 10.30-4.30 will also be the opening hours.

So, who will be seeing it at its most dramatic and vibrant?

New Yeah 6:18 pm 16 Aug 10

Indeed – looks very impressive.

rosebud 4:41 pm 16 Aug 10

How exciting! I mean it too – no irony there.

Holden Caulfield 2:52 pm 16 Aug 10

I noticed all the fences were down as I drove past on my way to work this morning. Might have to check it out.

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