Circle of Light


6 metres diameter

Enamelled copper wire wound aluminium cylinders.

Commissioned by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation for the Midsummer Arcade in Central Milton Keynes.

The sculpture is made from 23 aluminium tubes which have had their surfaces altered and then wound with enamelled copper wire. The tubes hang from a concealed beam beneath the false ceiling of the Midsummer Arcade, forming a curved circular plane which reflects light. Each tube rotates separately around its own axis creating a 3 dimensional surface in constant motion.

Circle of Light is the most ambitious work in the series of Light Columns, which Lijn began in 1966 using found oil filters, and subsequently developed into a complex body of work concerned with using light as a code for form.

Lijn was interested in the way in which the line of light described the altered surface of the cylinder. It spoke with a serpentine sibylline voice, sensual but also cerebral, since it gave precise information about the complex of marks, abrasions, or additions to the surface of the cylinder.

The oscillating line of reflected light on each cylinder acts as a system of signals that describes spatial changes occurring on the surface of the cylinder. The cylinder revolves at a constant speed which allows the entire surface of the form to be seen by an immobile viewer in one continuous flow.