James Turrell’s skyspace installation, Canberra

James Turrell’s skyspace installation, ‘Within without’, is one of the easiest-to-miss gems in Canberra. Hunkered down in the grounds of the National Gallery of Australia, you enter via a long concrete walkway into a square internal chamber which accesses an additional circular chamber with a hole in the ceiling exposed to the sky. The optimal viewing time is at dawn and dusk—we can recommend both as they were quite different—and you need to allow around 30 minutes for each visit.

The changes in perception of the sky’s colour is an interesting one, as is the meditative state you find yourself in looking up for such a protracted period of time. Visiting at dawn or dusk is a highly recommend experience—do not bother about the rest of the day as it is underwhelming—and should be on your ‘must do’ list the next time you are visiting our nation’s capital.

Note: the camera does not accurately reflect what the eye sees. In the images at the bottom, it is the interior walls that dominate, however, in person it is the hole that attracts your attention with its changing spectrum of colours.