A review of James Turrell at Houghton Hall
The role of an artist is to show us the world in a new light. To open our eyes to what we already see.
Turrell is a connoisseur of light and as a pilot is intimate with the sky in all its variance. Here in Norfolk he reveals the subtlety and variety of our maritime sky, the moisture in the air softening the light in a way that would never be seen in Arizona.
Turrell believes our eyes are most suited to seeing at dusk when there is very little light. St Elmo’s Breath is his most ephemeral piece at Houghton and reveals to us that we can see much more than we ever thought possible. The effect is so subtle that at first it is hard to believe you are really seeing anything, but gradually the photons start to accumulate and a silken carpet of red light reveals the space to us.
The poetic rationalism of his work has a strong resonance with the Palladian architecture of Houghton. Models of his work inside a crater in Pasadena reveal platonic volumes hollowed out from the earth which frame the nebulous phenomena of the sky so we might see them afresh.
James Turrell at Houghton Hall until 24th October 2015.
Guest review by Jeremy Walker, HeathWalker Studio, with thanks. Photographs, owl’s house london.
I spied this pendant lamp in the interiors of beautiful spaces long before I managed to find out any more about it. I have now tracked it down, and it’s of French provenance: Vertigo by Constance Guisset. Reminiscent of a parasol, or a wide brimmed hat; it is incredibly light which means it becomes mobile when it catches a breeze, turning and floating. And casting the most wonderful, graphic shadows.
images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
It comes in black, turquoise, copper, white and big and small: 2m diameter (500g weight) and 1.4m.
What do you think of Vertigo? Would you have one in your space?
More found objects, here
Boc-ci n. game of Italian origin similar to lawn bowling that is played with wooden balls on a long narrow court covered with fine gravel.
I discovered these lamps during Design Junction last year. I was quite taken with them, as was my three-year-old. In fact, they kept him entertained for quite some time.
There are many incarnations. The 57 Series will be unveiled at Euroluce trade fair in Milan during Salone Internazionale del Mobile next month. There is the 28 series chandelier, and 14 series pendant light. I’m particularly partial to this one – the 28 series desk lamp.
A bowling-ball sized glass sphere created by a complex glass blowing technique, results in the spherical shape with a collection of inner ‘satellites’. One of these is an opaque milk white glass bubble that houses a 20 watt xenon lamp. The fixture is designed to sit on a horizontal surface – desk, table, shelf, or floor. The flexible grey cable is intended to be coiled into a sculptural pattern to provide a cushioned surface on which the glass sits.
The colours are many and various. And it’s low voltage. Dimensions, 15cm diameter.
Get one, here
More found objects, here
This is a very clever light fitting. The arms are fine LED tubes that can be shaped and formed every which way to create a very individual piece. The finish is brass or black aluminium or oil-rubbed bronze, which makes it very current. The piece takes its inspiration from crystalline structures, both in their static form and as they grow.
It is a very contemporary chandelier, a sculptural piece that has movement and presence. I’m not crazy about the lifestyle images on the web-site, and even though I’ve not met it in person, as it were, I think the geometric form would work in a big industrial space or warehouse or a clean, minimal retail or residential environment.
It can be found, here.