Straight from the urban heart of a shelled grey London block of flats, a kind of tripping nightmare in shocking blue is to invade one of Yorkshire’s most serene and pastoral parks.
Roger Hiorns’ industrially monumental artwork Seizure, which first kidnapped the public’s imagination in 2008, has now been saved from demolition thanks to a funding boost that will see the 31 tonne work installed in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park next spring.
In its first grimily industrial home in a derelict block of low-rise flats in Harper Road, Southwark, London, Seizure became a disturbing yet uncannily spiritual attraction for hundreds of art zealots across the country. An encrusted toxic aquarium, Seizure was created by pumping 75,000 litres of liquid copper sulphate into the flats, leaving a thick layer of acidic blue crystals infesting every nook and cranny.
His most ambitious work yet, Seizure saw Birmingham artist Hiorns nominated for the 2009 Turner Prize. Hailed by the Guardian’s Jonathon Jones as a work that was “destined to be remembered as one of the truly worthwhile and significant moments of modern British art”, Seizure generated a cult kind of following for those wanting to be immersed in this warped crystal palace.
Yet, following its closure in 2010, it was feared that the artwork would have to be shattered to shards as plans were underway to demolish the externally unsightly flats. However, in order to save this urban salt mine, Hiorns handed Seizure to the Arts Council Collection, who, with the £40,000 support of Artangel, the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the Henry Moore Foundation, will now breathe a new lease of life into the landmark art work.
Moving from the chaos of the inner city to the peaceful rolling hills of Yorkshire, a ten-year loan agreement has now been signed between the Arts Council Collection and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where the work, Untitled (Seizure) as it will now be known, is currently in storage ready to swallow up the Park’s visitors in spring 2013.
Roger Hiorns, who has over the years earned himself a reputation as something of a crazy alchemist by setting the drains of Tate Britain on fire, said that he was happy with the rather striking displacement in location of his work: “Given the choice between an imprecise myth of the past and an unknowable future, the latter was always going to be more interesting, more of a problem. As an object removed from its origin it’s forever in limbo – nomadic and unplaceable, and will continue to be. If you have the opportunity to complicate things, you should always take it.”
Untitled (Seizure) will shortly follow one the Sculpture Park’s biggest attractions showcasing the first major UK exhibition of the work of sculptor Jean Miró, which has drawn in great interest and thousands of pilgrimages to the West Bretton sculpture park.