09 Nov 2023 - 25 Feb 2024


Temenos, the thought-provoking, visually delightful installation is returning to Lewis Cubitt Square for another winter.

This striking geometric winter sculpture, by trailblazing American-born artist, Liliane Lijn, is designed to be both an abstracted grove of trees and a magic circle of sorts, a space that provides a protective energy. Venture inside to immerse yourself 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. 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 its length that illuminates the skies, day and night.

Lijn’s complex structure, in which all parts are dependent upon one another, references the importance of support networks, physical and metaphorical.

Discover Temenos in Lewis Cubitt Square until 25 February 2023.

Temenos, by Liliane Lijn, an installation for Christmas in Granary Square, King's Cross
Artist Liliane Lijn, and her installation Temenos, in Granary Square, King's Cross

About the artwork

A Temenos is a magic circle, a space believed to contain a protective energy. In ancient times, as far back as the Mycaenian civilisation in 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.

Speaking of the sculpture Liliane Lijn says: “I first conceived this sculpture in 1992, and it is very much a part of my lifelong interest in geometry and the ways in which it can be made to reflect and relate to the chemistry of life and to nature. I saw it as a drawing in space, “drawn with light”, which was its working title.

“I have played with the circle in all its permutations, disc, sphere, cylinder, cone, ziggurat. This began with a very early drawing I made of an empty triangle floating in a circle ebullient with life forms. I have 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. I use specific proportions and relations between the forms in my work, using numbers in their relation to 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 sides, leans and connects with the higher pole, creating a structure expressing support, the highest pole supporting the whole structure.

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 metaphorically in human relationships, as well as nature and the appreciation of its formations and textures.

Temenos, by Liliane Lijn, an installation for Christmas in Granary Square, King's Cross
Temenos, by Liliane Lijn, an installation for Christmas in Granary Square, King's Cross

Lewis Cubitt Square
London N1C 4DQ

9 Nov 2023 - 25 Feb 2024