Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

James Turrell

When looking into artist who work with light, I came across James Turrell. After doing some research it is clear that we have a similar interest in light and the experience you get when in the presence of light, in particular for me sunlight.

Afrum I (White), (1967)

In the 1960s, Turrell began using a high-intensity projector (cutting-edge technology for the 1960s) to beam light onto the walls and corners of empty rooms. The artist was essentially painting (or sculpting) with light. Inspired by the glow from a reproduction of a Rothko canvas in the context of a slide lecture (a glow he later discovered they did not have when he experienced them in person).

Here, a brilliant white cube seems to float in midair. If we walk from side to side, it appears three-dimensional. Upon closer inspection, we discover that two intersecting beams of light create that illusion. Because of the intensity of the beam and the darkened conditions of the room, light appears as a visual presence, and the reflection of the beams off the walls makes it appear as if the cube itself were the source of light.

Meeting (1980)

Enter what at first seems to be an ordinary room and sit down on one of the wooden benches along its walls. The eye is soon drawn upward toward a large rectangular aperture cut directly into the square ceiling. Here, artificial orange light and natural light mingle, guiding the senses and suggesting the color of the sky. The effects are particularly noticeable close to sunset. Turrell’s Skyspaces, permanent, site-specific installations meant to facilitate visitors’ experiences of the effects of light changing slowly over time are the artist’s best-known works. The objective is to join inside with outside, eliminating the ceiling, and connecting the individual directly with the sky.

Roden Crater Project

I am in particularly interested/curious in the Roden Crater Project.

Rising out of the vast desert outside Flagstaff, Roden Crater is the site of Turrell’s most ambitious project to date. He has reworked this huge depression in the earth, altering its contours to change the visitor’s perception of the horizon and sky, and left a cluster of spaces and walkways inside, with apertures leading into each compartment that filter various degrees of light from the cosmos. Turrell originally discovered the site by plane. The visitor approaches like a pilgrim, walking over two miles in a tightening spiral that allows his or her mindset to adjust to the ancient natural site and its changing appearance, depending on light and weather. Upon arriving at the extinct volcano, one makes one’s way through a long tunnel into the Crater Bowl, a natural concavity 5,500 above sea level. During the day, one appears to see a literal curving of the earth. At night, it is as if the stars are right on top of you. For example, the Alpha Tunnel focuses images onto a large stone in the Sun and Moon Chamber every 18.61 years to mark the Major Lunar Standstill. The experience of the work is intended to attune us to the presence of geologic time and celestial movement. Though grander in scale than anything else the artist has done, the Roden Crater project is entirely consistent with the rest of the artist’s work, and might even be considered a kind of summary of his objective: modifying perception, and ultimately consciousness itself, through the use of light.

Light – Initial ideas/images

Primary Research

the first few images I have taken have just been from the natural light illuminating my room at different parts of the day. I find something so calming looking at them but even more experiencing the light at those time in person. Theres something about being present with the light that I feel can’t compare to any image taken of it.

Initial Ideas

I started by making a mind map of objects that initially caught my eye around my flat- which to begin with was nothing so off to a greta start.. I then started to think that it maybe didn’t have to be something with form in the sense of dimension.

When writing down ideas I was definitely more drawn to light and sound, so decided to start with these.

In the brief there were a few questions promoted for us to answer about our object:

  • Object or phenomenon? – I would say my chosen object/s are both.
  • How does it make you feel – When speaking about light, it makes me feel warm, happy, safe, calm, tranquil and inspired.


I would say out of the two I am more inspired and drawn to light. I already have many photos taken throughout the years of light that has caught my attention for primary research.

I would also say I am initially seeing the object of light as a daily thing we just expect to have in our home, city and world but I already see the extraordinary in it with the way it makes me feel and I aim is to convey this feeling to the audience.




Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.