Christina Sporrong’s site blurb says she’s a “welder, blacksmith, educator, aerialist, illustrator, performer, mayhem creator. . .”
All of this is true, but Christina also happens to be an extremely gifted artist working on a large scale with metal, building huge kinetic sculptures that are informed by her student years at Parsons when she discovered the Rivington Group on the Lower East Side.
No doubt the views from Taos Mesa, where she lives with her partner Christian Ristow and their son Kodiak, her travels abroad (born in Sweden, she grew up all over the world but Taos has been her home since the mid 90’s) and her forays into Circus and Burning Man Culture, have all played a role in the evolution of these extraordinary creations fired in her forge.
A Burning Man Grant allowed her to construct her Heron (on the cover of taoStyle’s Taos Mesa Brewing post) which has enabled her to combine her love of performance, especially aerial dance, fire and circus with sculpture in order to create a much larger experience.”I dream big,” she says, ” when I conceived the Herons – there are supposed to be three, I saw them in Athens in front of the Acropolis with performance artists and music – I like to tap into these different mediums because they are relevant.”
“It’s also about the sound, the visuals, the size and the element of danger,” she continues, “I want it to be an experience so that it’s not just Fine Art in a Museum.”
“I love performance,” she tells me. “I see my work intrinsically linked to that.”
These are more than mere performance pieces. Her Caged Pulse Jets (shown here at Glastonbury) was conceived as a sound sculpture to create a cacophony of industrial noise. A combination of spinning jet engines, fire and sound, it’s an interactive piece where the viewers participate by playing it as an instrument. Heron was specifically designed to use with the Wise Fool Circus performers from Penasco and a few other aerial and fire dancers Christina works with on a regular basis.
For seventeen years Christina taught Metal Work Workshops to women. She says she felt it was a way to empower them, by giving them skills that were traditionally man’s work. Women would come to Taos from all over. All the while she was seeking ways to manifest her vision and around the time she started going to Burning Man in the late 90’s, the pieces started coming together.
This woman is a serious force, and her work, though now mostly being shown at Festivals including Glastonbury, the VOODOO Festival in New Orleans along with Burning Man who continue to fund her projects, will stand the test of time.
For the moment her sculptures are on the Mesa, and she’s in her shop working on the next big thing.
For much more on Christina, please visit her link below.
Photographs by Karen Keuhn, Sadaf Rassoul Cameron and Anne Staveley except for Jets at Glastonbury.