Daily from sunset to midnight, as the sky shifts to dusk, Night Life 2018 animates the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in a play of light from within. James Turrell (United States, b.1943) is one of the globe’s most celebrated artists, renowned for his work with light and space. He invites us into a realm of deep perception, asking us to question how our senses respond to light.
Night Life will become a global destination artwork for Brisbane. For more than half a century, Turrell has created immersive and moving artworks, his large-scale luminous installations – located in or on buildings, or within landscapes – attract visitors from around the world.
We have a different life at night.
I have always wanted to give this life to buildings.
to cloak these structures in a beautiful raiment of light.
The newly commissioned permanent installation now illuminates GOMA’s eastern and southern glass facades each night through shifts in tempo, hue and intensity of colour. A decade after the opening of GOMA, this dynamic work realises the architects’ vision of animating the building at night. The glass panels lay dormant on GOMA’s exterior for 11 years, the original design concept allowed for a gap of 300mm between the exterior facade and internal gallery walls to carry power and data cabling for a future light installation.
This 88 minute light sequence is unique amongst the artists light works, Night Life is a flat canvas of colour, key to the work is 2,500 lights illuminating 200 milky Starphire glass panels 15 metres tall, that wrap around 85 meters of GOMA’s two main facades.
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Commissioned 2017 to mark the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art. This project has been realised with generous support from the Queensland Government; Paul, Sue and Kate Taylor; the Neilson Foundation and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation Appeal.
Featured image: Launch of James Turrell’s light installation Night Life 2018, Friday 13 July 2018.