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Examine Nick Sikkuark’s “Seal Spirit”

The Life Aquatic

Sep 11, 2020
by Michael Stevens

There is something pleasurably unsettling about sculptural explorations of the uncanny by Nick Sikkuark (1943–2013). His creatures often seem to have crawled—or slithered—from the pages of an eldritch bestiary. Seals are liminal creatures as they inhabit both water and land. In this work, Sikkuark maps this conceit of porous boundaries onto a spiritual topography; the ethereal translucence of the bone connotes a ghostly apparition that is becoming swiftly more corporeal. This spirit appears to cross the threshold into our realm, sprouting tufts of hair, gaining the ability to interact with its surrounding landscape, which is intimated by the sculpture’s base of unworked bone—a common feature of Sikkuark’s figures. 

— Michael Stevens, Managing Editor


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