The large-scale sculpture Witness (2023) is a grand allegorical female figure that allows for multiple meanings and possibilities. With its unrooted arms and legs, the figure is literally ungrounded, floating, resisting permanence. She is part of a diaspora whose home is where one chooses to put roots. Her skirt is made to mimic the domed and stained glass ceiling of the Manhattan Appellate Courthouse, and also operates as the figure’s uplifting protection. It also references longitudinal and latitudinal lines.This skirt is adorned with Arabic writing (“havah”) that is decorated with mosaics composed of many small colorful tiles. The golden figure shines in the sun and glows in the night’s light, with a radiance appropriate for an everyday-goddess. Her head is decorated with golden rams horns—two thick braids—that form a crown of female potency. The corresponding work, Reckoning (2020), is a video projection animation by Sikander. The video begins with a murmuration of what looks like golden seeds, or specs of light, splashing into one another; individual and whole simultaneously. Two entangled warriors appear. Their battle is a graceful dance. Sikander lends us a lesson in how to engage in a better, more respectful, form of dialogue between two oppositions. This airy animation, in pixelated form, is a visual lesson on the timelessness of all matter, reminding us that Mother Nature (another allegorical goddess) is the only essence that prevails. Havah…to breathe, air, life is co-commissioned by Public Art UHS and Madison Square Park Conservancy and it is the first major co-commission for both institutions. The exhibition was first on view in Madison Square Park from January 17 – June 4, 2023, and it will open at the University of Houston Spring 2024

Back To Top