If you’ve never been to the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia YOU. ARE. MISSING. OUT! Take a quintessential main street, add historic cobblestones, great restaurants and adorable shops and you have perfection.
The Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House is located on Mermaid Lane, walkable from the main drag of town. It is a space for those of the Quaker faith community to meet and reflect in a peaceful setting and also provides a home to a piece by the artist James Turrell.
The Skyspace at Chestnut Hill Quaker Meeting House
20 E. Mermaid Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19118-3507
Turrell’s work focuses on the use of light, space and color providing it’s own setting for reflection. Each Sunday, the meeting house opens up it’s doors to provide a sunset light show open to people of all faiths.
“With its constantly changing effects, the Turrell encourages pure sensory absorption. You want to take in every subtle shift in what you are seeing and sensing; talk and reason just seem to get in the way.”
The show is viewed through a retractable ceiling in the sanctuary providing a open air space that coincides with a light sequence timed at sunset. You are able to sit in a pew, in the windowsills, or even lie on the floor. The space is completely silent and you can hear chirping birds, see the clouds moving through the sky, which take on the light that is being bounced around the sanctuary.
Please note that on days of inclement weather, the roof is not retracted, which provides just an indoor light sequence. Although this isn’t a fully sensory experience, it provides a completely different type of resolve and relaxation. You can make reservations online here.
It’s truly one of the most cleansing and relaxing art experiences I have ever experienced. I highly recommend going to see a Turrell exhibition whenever you are able. The mesmerizing installation is a sanctuary for anyone who values quiet contemplation and stunning visual beauty.