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Published July 25th 2018
GOMA's FREE permanent light show is big, bold and beautiful
If you've been in the city near the river or at South Bank's cultural precinct after dark recently you may have noticed the Gallery of Modern Art ablaze with a colourful glowing fluorescence and wondered what was going on. Well, what's going on is James Turrell Night Life and it's not just a temporary light show. It's big, bold and beautiful and set to make GOMA's building itself the star of the gallery's artistic show in perpetuum. And it's FREE to watch every night from sunset to midnight.
I decided to round out my evening visit to GOMA's Cinémathèque for a lively whodunnit as part of The Great Detective Film Program with a close-up viewing of this masterful light show and I wasn't disappointed.
I've always liked GOMA's glass-panelled pavilion building, with its balconies and timber slats, topped by a soaring overhanging roof that flips upwards gently at the corners. Designed by John Norman, Lindsay Clare, Kerry Clare, and James Jones and opened in December 2006 the building won the 2007 Royal Australian Institute of Architects National Award for Public Architecture.
At the time there was a proposal to commission American artist James Turrell (world-renowned for his light installations) to create a work for GOMA's opening, but this did not go ahead. In 2017 to mark the gallery's 10th anniversary Turrell was finally commissioned to fulfil the architects' original vision of turning the building's facade into a giant canvas. James Turrell Night Life 2018 is the spectacular result.
I settled on a timber bench opposite the building to await the show. Just on dusk, at first almost imperceptibly, the translucent cube began to subtly glow with blue. The blue slowly intensified and morphed into purple, which became a vibrant pink and then a molten lava red.
Geraldine great to read about this. I went to a talk where they explained what it took to put the light installations onto the walls in Goma. Quite impressive. You captured the different lights so well. Marina