The World’s Northernmost Skyspace – in Norway


The American light artist James Turrell has created the world’s northernmost skyspace in Norway – the Hardanger Skyspace.

Hardanger Skyspace is one of the well-known art installations by the American artist James Turrell. Through a colorful light installation, you can watch and experience sunrises and sunsets in a special way. The Hardanger Skyspace is part of the Kabuso Art Centre in Øystese.

At the reception at Hardangerfjord hotel – a few meters away from the lightwork, you will be provided with a key and written information about the lightwork. However, dress as to stay outdoors.

The World’s Northernmost Skyspace - in Norway
Hardanger Skyspace in Øystese, Hardangerfjord. Photo: Helge Skodvin.

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In 2011, James Turrell went for a walk on the beach in Øystese in Hardanger. He had been invited by professional leader of Kabuso, the village’s art and culture center, Heidi Ann Jaeger. There were several reasons why Turrell had accepted the invitation. He prefers to work outside art metropolises and he has a deep fascination for the fjord paintings of Norwegian Lars Hertervik (1830-1902) and he was nearby since he had just opened an exhibition in Järna in Sweden.

His light installation is in Øystese, Hardanger Skyspace, is an eye-catching, octagonal building with an opening in the roof and seating inside. A light installation with changing colors is started at sunrise and sunset, giving you a unique experience of sky and space. Weather and season also will influence vistors’ experience – so every visit is unique!

The World’s Northernmost Skyspace - in Norway
James Turrell’s most famous work is the Roden Crater, a light observatory in a dried-out volcano in the Arizona desert.

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In the twilight hours, you are bathed in LED lights of changing colors, and the night or morning sky can be seen through an elliptical aperture in the roof. The interplay between the artificial and natural light affects how we perceive the sky.

Turrell likes to have a lot of space. His most famous work is the Roden Crater, a light observatory in a dried-out volcano in the Arizona desert. When he experienced the panoramic view of the Hardangerfjord and Folgefonna in Øystese, his light art instincts literally glowed. “Here I can imagine creating the world’s northernmost skyspace!” he exclaimed.

The World’s Northernmost Skyspace - in Norway
Hardanger Skyspace. Photo: Katrine van Tulder/Fjordmoods

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Hardanger Skyspace has an octagonal shape inspired by the small but wonderful sculpture museum that houses the works of Ingebrigt Vik. It is also characterized by the grey color of Hardanger slate. Turrell anchors his art works in local traditions, building methods and art forms. Hardanger Skyspace’s elliptical shape reflects the long fjord.

World’s Northernmost Skyspace – in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top) Photo © Aukse Drungiliene

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.


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