In a room darkened with black cloth and no overhead lighting, with only a sparkling circle of diffused light coming from two projectors, Lenka Novakova is in one of her more treasured elements.
Using fishing line, and moulded glass, Novakova has sculpted a light show entitled Rivers which is currently displayed in the main gallery at the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum.
"It comes out differently with each showing because of the different gallery space," she said.
Rivers has been installed in Montreal's Fofa Gallery where all 49 of Novakova's light pillars could be used, as well as in Grimsby, Ontario prior to arriving in Estevan where the large gallery space allowed her to install about 40 of the magically swirling softly lit works.
Novakova, originally from the Czech Republic, completed her undergraduate art degree in the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia before finishing her master's in fine art at Concordia University in Montreal.
"I have worked with light most of my professional life. Working with glass is just something that we do in the Czech Republic, so that was natural, and then the abstract work with light well, it was kind of an evolution for me," she said.
Using light to emulate rippling water is no mean feat, especially when the lighting creates the illusion of circles in a cone.
Novakova said she has always been fascinated with flowing water and how a river can maintain the same look, while in actuality, it is constantly changing.
The relaxing light and sculpture show at the EAGM allows the viewer to draw from their own memories or develop their own visual message.
"I'm not trying to teach anything here, or deliver a specific message to anyone. It's just a conceptually contemplative work," said Novakova.
Glass, light, lenses, optical illusions it's all part of the fun in the show and Novakova is no stranger to pushing the boundaries in experimental art. She recalled one show she installed in Montreal using the remains of a burned out cabin as a centrepiece from which she recreated a new environment around the burned building.
"Go broad, that's what I like," said the diminutive young artist.
"I'm all for learning new skills. I'll work with steel and concrete next, I suppose," she said with a giggle.
She has already worked with dancers in previous exhibits, which she described as being a great experience.
But right now, it's moving light images that are creating the interest in the EAGM. The exhibit is available for viewing throughout the day each week and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays for the next month.