London’s King’s Cross unveiled Temenos, a striking, new geometric winter sculpture created by trailblazing American-born artist, Liliane Lijn, on Thursday 2nd December. Granary Square provides the iconic backdrop for this eye-catching and vivacious structure, which will bring light and colour during the dark winter months.
Temenos, which Lijn has conceived as a magic circle and space that contains a protective energy, is an abstracted grove of trees which visitors can venture inside and immerse themselves in light. Renowned for her innovative kinetic artworks and pioneering the use of technology, Lijn’s winter sculpture is a towering open structure measuring 11.3m high.
Instantly recognisable as the work of Lijn with its prominent cone shape, Temenos comprises 19 neon yellow and orange poles, each with light running along their length and which will illuminate the skies, during the days and nights. Lijn’s complex structure, in which all parts are dependent upon one another, references the significance of support networks, physical and metaphorical, particularly after this challenging 18 months.
Granary Square has a tradition of artist commission artworks for its festive centrepieces, and has previously collaborated with acclaimed artists including David Batchelor, Tatham O’Sullivan and architect Sam Jacob.
Lijn first conceived the Temenos structure in 1992 through a series of drawings exploring the multiple permutations of the circle. Her earlier works investigated the disc, sphere, cylinder, cone and ziggurat in both studio and public works. Lijn’s earlier work has now been revisited, reimagined and realised at scale for the first time ever to create a site-specific installation that asserts itself in London’s much-loved Granary Square. The piece expresses Lijn’s lifelong interest in geometry and the ways in which shape and form relate to nature and the chemistry of life.
Lijn, when discussing Temenos, said: “I was delighted to receive the opportunity to create a sculpture for Granary Square. I live a twenty-minute walk along the canal from the square and have watched, with excitement, the birth of the King’s Cross development.
The area has completely transformed the redundant marshalling yard and warehousing into a lively public destination of housing, shops and restaurants, a home for the University of the Arts London, as well as landscaped walks along the canal and art in squares for people to enjoy.”
Head of Assets for King’s Cross, Anthea Harries, said: “We are delighted to be working with Liliane Lijn for latest Granary Square artist project. Lijn’s outstanding Temenos complements our festive tree, Prism, in Coal Drops Yard and will enhance our winter offering and enrich the experience for all our visitors.”
Temenos will be on display in Granary Square until February 2022.