Dodo Roadshow: Yorkshire Sculpture Park

James Turrell, Deer Shelter Skyspace, 2006. An Art Fund Commission. Courtesy the artist. Photo Jonty Wilde To mark our selection as a Finalist in the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015 we’re embarking on a unique and ambitious tour of the country – the Dodo Roadshow.

Beginning at Land’s End on 8 June and concluding in John O’Groats one week later, the famous Oxford Dodo will visit more than 20 museums and galleries along the way. At each stop the Dodo will ‘interview’ one of the venue’s star objects.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park: Skyspace

So, tell me about yourself – who are you and where do you come from?

I am the Deer Shelter Skyspace in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I was created by American artist James Turrell within the 18th century Grade II listed building, the Deer Shelter, in 2006. I am a large chamber within the existing Deer Shelter structure with an aperture in my roof open to the elements. This opening creates a frame for the sky to be viewed through. Loving the Yorkshire landscape, the artist first proposed this idea in 1993 but it was only following a commission by the Art Fund that I was made possible.

What is it that makes you so special?

Created specifically for Yorkshire Sculpture Park, I do not alter the landscape but I create a tranquil environment for visitors to contemplate and enjoy the changing light of the Yorkshire sky. Turrell is known for manipulating light and is interested in how viewers perceive the light in different ways. Here, light is used as a medium for bringing the sky closer to viewers and to fill the space around them. The quality of light and feeling within me change with the seasons and weather so every visit can be a different experience.

Who looks after you in this place?

The Curatorial team, front of house staff and a team of Sculpture Technicians take care of me. I am pretty low maintenance but sometimes a little help is needed as I am always open to the elements.

Do you remember life before the museum?

For me, there was no life before YSP. James Turrell has created other skyspaces across the world, each one unique and specific to their location. I was designed and made just the way I am and permanent here at YSP.

What does the future hold for you?

I will continue to be a place for contemplation in the changing landscape here and I hope visitors will continue to enjoy stopping by Skyspace.

Stickers small - Dodo Roadshow_crop

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More than a Dodo

I'm Public Engagement Manager at Oxford University Museum of Natural History and I look after permanent displays and other interpretation. I do a bit of social media on the side, too.

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