The Quaker Meditative Room and the Performing Eye: Deer Shelter Skyspace by James Turrell
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This chapter looks at the permanent installation/public sculpture Deer Shelter Skyspace, which was designed by the artist James Turrell and installed in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2007. Turrell’s long affiliation with Quaker’s spirituality is explored, not only as a cultural reference, but also as the main inspiration for his skyscape’s devising strategies. In analyzing the architectural structure of the Quaker meditative room in relation to light, weather and human perception, the objective is to undermine the mutually exclusive binary of nature and culture and propose a paradigm in which the two inform each other. Therefore, by looking at the practice of spectating light, this chapter proposes contemplation within a theatrical discourse. Contemplation is hence investigated as a cognitive state that reveals, in perception, all the happenings underlining the macro experiences of our daily life, bringing to the foreground the perceptive possibilities layered in both the micro biological and the macro cosmic.
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