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Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell at Fari Islands, Maldives

ByTiffany Pong
Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell at Fari Islands, Maldives

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell. Image Courtesy of Patina Maldives.

Internationally revered for his sublime integration of light and space, Californian interdisciplinary artist, James Turrell once again transfixes the Art world with his latest installation Skyspace Amarta at Fari Islands, Maldives. Skyspace Amarta was a site-specific piece commissioned piece by Pontiac Land Group's Vice Chairman and Head of Design and Hospitality, Mr Evan Kwee. The specifically proportioned chamber with an aperture in the ceiling open to the sky is a manifestation of Turrell’s lifelong devotion towards exploring space and the light that inhabits it. It’s a piece that invites guests to contemplate their own perception of form as they immerse themselves in the sensual abundance of light, colour and openness in Turrell’s sky-scape. 

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell. Image Courtesy of Patina Maldives.

Born in Los Angeles California, the 78 year-old artist began his practice in the late 1960s, only after completing his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology; although his fascination with the sky began earlier at age sixteen when he acquired his pilot license. Nevertheless, Turrell’s fixation with human perception suggests how he incorporates his study on the psyche with his artistic expression. Curious about subjective perception and sensory consciousness, Turrell’s early inquiries into the psychological implications of perception first involved sensory deprivation. It was in 1968 when Turrell participated in the Art & Technology program at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and collaborated with scientist Edward Wortz to investigate the Ganzfeld effect — an optical phenomena where deprivation raises the consciousness of subjective perception towards self-reflexive observation & remarkable creation.

This fascination eventually culminated in the conceptualisation and development of Skyspaces, which took off in the 1970s. When discussing his Skyscapes, Turrell often draws on the spiritually evocative experiences historical landmarks such as Machu Picchu, the Pyramids of Egypt, or the Temples of Yucatan elicit within onlookers, establishing a parallel to the contemplative trance Turrell’s Skyspaces have on viewers. Located in 22 countries, with Skyspaces nestled in some of the most obscure and serene places on the planet, the artist’s signature series encompasses more than 80 publicly accessible and private sky observatories worldwide. No matter the destination, every experience in Turrell’s Skyspace is certain to be out of this world, and Skyspace Amarta is no exception.

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell. Image Courtesy of Jonas Poulsen.

Turell shares: “My work is more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, although it is a product of my seeing. I’m also interested in the sense of presence of space; that is space where you feel a presence, almost an entity — that physical feeling and power that space can give.”

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell. Image Courtesy of Jonas Poulsen.

Needless to say, the work of the Master of Light derives its power from simplicity, yet extravagance is never compromised. Not only has Turrell’s works been commissioned and showcased in almost every continent, the Californian artist has also earned eleven internationally acclaimed awards in Art and Architecture, establishing himself as a visionary in the Light & Space movement, and as a luminous force in the Art world. 

In his work, Turrell manipulates the medium of pure light into a fluid blend of sky, earth, light, space, and existence, as he melts time to a stand-still, activating sensations and producing experiences of wordless thought.

New Yorker critic Calvin Tompkins writes, “His work is not about light, or a record of light; it is light — the physical presence of light made manifest in sensory form.”

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell. Image Courtesy of Fernando Guerra.

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell. Image Courtesy of Patina Maldives.

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell. Image Courtesy of Jonas Poulsen.

Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell is a PEFC Project certified by Ventura Timberwork of Singapore. This means that all the timber used to create Skyspace Amarta can be traced back to sustainably managed forests where the timber was sourced. Onsite the James Turrell Pavilion and beyond, the new resort ensures 100% transparency in their timbre supply chain. On the island, guests can retreat into Turrell’s Skyspace, bask in its infinite splendour, and experience the magnanimous spirit of Fari Islands, — making it a haven within a haven — as the resort embodies sustainability, alongside artistic expression and sensorial enlightenment. 


To read more on the other works in the Fari Islands Art Collection, click here

Follow James Turrell on Instagram! @jamesturell

Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.

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