I remember the moment I stepped off the plane in Arizona, escaping the dead of winter in North Dakota in February. The suns warmth, the more humid air, and a glorious shock of pure joy and relaxation hit me. Then a kid tugged at my pants, “I have to pee!” and I was brought back down to reality. After a quick potty trip I was able to regrasp the delight of snowbirdism.
What made me feel so wonderful? So easily escaping a sort of seasonal depression I find myself in every winter living in a tundra. Was it the warmth, the light, the colors? I recently watched David Letterman’s “My Next Guest” with Kanye West and although Yay can rub people the wrong way I was delighted to learn of James Turrell thru his discussion. A light and space artist, who studies the physical presence of light displayed in sensory form. I suffer from psoriasis and have recently dabbled in red light therapy (RLT) treatment. If you’re not familiar with RLT it’s a therapeutic technique that uses red low-level wavelengths of light to treat skin issues… astronauts use it, nuff said.
I find the pairing of art and therapy so congruent and to focus on the energy of light in this way fascinating. What if we could design a space in our northern climate that could equalize our dead of winter downs? Maybe it could be like James Turrell’s project Roden Crater. The Roden Crater is his latest large-scale artwork created within a volcanic cinder cone.
This Arizona based artwork reflects his work with visual and psychological perception. A place to contemplate light and create your own experience. I am planning my next trip!
For more information on the Roden Crater visit rodencrater.com
Photo credit: Florian Holzherr / Copyright James Turrell