Sculptor and installation artist Christina Watka is captivated by the movement of sunbeams across a floor or up a wall and how it marks the passage of time—a daily dance of light and shadow that she seeks to capture in her series of mica wall sculptures, called Light Totems. “The work I do is always in relation to light,” she says. “I use a natural material to express an abstract shape.”
In her past ceramic wall sculptures, Watka’s work dealt with representing collective movements found in nature, such as the patterns created by schools of fish or the murmuration of birds. Similarly, Light Totems attempts to replicate the movement of time itself. Each sculpture in the series is made of mica, brass, and gold-plaited chain, and hangs suspended out from the wall by roughly an inch. Two years ago, Watka began working with mica because it “was a material that reacted to the light and allowed the light to pass through.” The mica projects a golden prism across the wall and ceiling, as the installation room’s air currents gently sway the lightweight totems, creating the illusion of unison movement. “They completely change the relation to the space you’re in,” she says. “It has this really exciting and simple effect, but it feels very profound for me.”
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