Updated on 17 March 2021
The meeting room at Live Oak Friends Meeting House in Houston, Texas, is a ‘Skyspace’ designed by artist James Turrell.
Turrell is an American artist primarily concerned with light and space who comes from a Quaker family. Before becoming a professional artist he trained as a doctor and served in the Peace Corps. Turrell has created nearly 100 Skyspaces across the world and has become known as ‘the architect of light’.
In the meeting room at Live Oak Friends Meeting House, a section of roof opens up, thus letting natural outside light pour in and illuminate the meeting.
Turrell says of the Live Oak Skyspace:
“Well, for me that was kind of the meetinghouse I always wanted to see. I guess I like the literal quality or feeling or sensation, in that I want to feel light physically. We drink it as vitamin D; it’s actually a food. We are heliotropic. And it has a big effect on the skin; it produces vitamin D. We also have a big psychological relation to light. All or most spiritual experiences, near-death experiences, are described with a vocabulary of light. So, for me, this quality to feel light exists, almost like we see it in a dream.”<><>James Turrell