The Sky Garden at Liss Ard Country House Estate is one of only two in the world designed by American sculptor, James Turrell. Shaped like a bowl, the structure features a central stone plinth reminiscent of ancient Celtic and Egyptian altars. The altar rises up at an angle, and features two stone footrests on each end to allow the viewer to lie down facing up and out toward the edge of the crater above. All that is visible from this vantage point is the green grass and sky, creating a uniquely serene experience that invokes past rituals and ancient rites. According to Turrell, ‘the most important thing is that inside turns into outside and the other way around, in the sense that relationships between the Irish landscape and sky changes.’
As you enter the Sky Garden you walk through a long dark megalithic-like passage and climb a number of steep stairs, enhancing the anticipation. The crater is oval-shaped and grass-lined, with a large stone plinth placed in the centre, intended for two people to lie on and look up to the skies. The intention was for small groups to visit at a time, with two being Turrell’s ideal number. Whether you visit during the day or night, as you lie within the crater, you will find yourself captivated by the endlessly changing skies, perfectly framed by the crater’s edge in your peripheral vision.
Image | Irish Sky Garden, [IG] @_bioalem_
Skibbereen, Co Cork