7.8 x 11.3m
Painted steel poles, painted galvanised base ring,  LED’s.

Granary Square
King’s Cross
London, N1C

On display until end of February 2022.

A Temenos is a magic circle, a space believed to contain a protective energy. In ancient times, as far back as the Mycaenian civilization, approximately 1750 to 1050 BC, the temenos was considered an inviolable sacred space. It seems, therefore, appropriate to create one for the holy days of Christmas.

The sculpture was first conceived in 1992 and is very much a part of Liliane Lijn’s lifelong interest in geometry, and the ways in which it reflects and relates to nature and the chemistry of life. She considered it a drawing in space; “drawn with light” was its working title.

Lijn has used the circle in all its permutations, disc, sphere, cylinder, cone, ziggurat.

This began with a very early drawing made of an empty triangle floating in a circle ebullient with life forms. Lijn also developed the triangle, using prismatic forms, as well as optical glass prisms. These works referenced both crystal formations and the history of crystallography, and spectroscopy, the ability of prisms to refract white light into a spectrum of colours. She plays with proportions and relations between the forms in her work, using numerical dimensions that create energy or vibrations. The Pythagorians, may have been the first to relate certain numbers to increased energy or power, and similar theories are expounded in the Kabala and in Tantric Buddhism.”

Temenos is an open structure made of 19 poles, the highest of them leaning towards the middle of the circle. Nine poles on each side progressively decrease in length. The two tallest lean toward and connect with the central pole, then each subsequent pole on each of the two both sides, leans and connects with the higher pole, creating a structure expressing support, the highest pole supporting the whole structure. This sculpture can be seen as a metaphor for the dependency that all living beings, from humans to the simplest algae have between each other.

Occupying a central position in one of London’s most loved shared spaces over the winter period, Liliane Lijn’s Temenos invites reflection on the necessity of support structures, most profoundly as found in human relationships, as well as in nature, and the appreciation of its formations and textures.

Temenos commissioned by King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership.

Photo credits: John Sturrock, Stephen Weiss, Mischa Weiss-Lijn