Within without | A James Turrell Skyspace in Canberra all along

December 27th, 2014, 3pm

Hi. Make that hello! Ganzfeld.

I’m back in Canberra. I grew up in Canberra. If I go by the NY Times, I don’t want an easy life, because I always want to (and do) leave Canberra.

Of late, and I admit— there’s been a resurgence in Canberra; I almost like it here.

It’s like there’s a little part of all of the world in Canberra (diplomatic missions aside). The Bearded Hipsters of Billy-burg are here (now ordering picollos, Australian for cortados) even if the Flat White is still a staple, and taking the US by storm (and even if the NCA doesn’t know it yet). You’ll find them in their check shirts with a touch of Aussie styling (the thong — aka flip flop) in the revitalized Suburban strips of Braddon, Kingston and Acton. On Acton, Texas-meets-Japan interior styling is permeating our spaces with the Nishi based Hotel Hotel, my favorite space in this city, because it doesn’t feel like this city. (And cowhide stools among ceramic, timbers, concrete all in natural light). And now Turrell is here, again. His Skyspace landed back in 2010, and I recall it from my first visit, but now the names and the faces (ok, the ganzfeld) all makes sense.

Being out in the world will do that.


I landed in CBR the day before the Turrell retrospective opened. Hoo and Ray! I smiled when this happened. It’s a phenomenon I call “When I can’t be out in the world, the world (my version of it) comes to me”. (Usually in the form of rockstars and football players, but those days are over. It’s now the gym— I finally get what all the flexing is about. Another story, TBC when back in Brixen).

Turrell is the favored artist of one of my fellow Milanese color alumni. On the flip side, my project partner questioned ‘how this is even art?’ I know I like it. His work has respondents impacted by the effect light on the body. And this interests me.

He has framed the sky. For someone whose dream job is to color the clouds at sunset, this is big. Art or not, favorite, or passing by— this is important. For me.

This shot was from a quick weekend visit, after a hilly hike. A dusk/dawn visit is looming.

I used to quip this city was “grey but for all the bureaucratic red tape”. I’ve since learnt most cities appear grey— look hard enough and you’ll find the colors. And I am; Within without.

David Wade said thanks.

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Tanja P

Here for inspiration.

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