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Artangel: Seizure

  • Date: 10 November 2009
  • Artform: Visual arts
  • Area: London
Seizure by Roger Hiorns. Photo: Nick Cobbing Seizure by Roger Hiorns. Photo: Nick Cobbing

Seizure is the result of a vast chemical process precipitated by British artist Roger Hiorns. Around 75,000 litres of copper sulphate solution were pumped into 157 Harper Road, a former council flat in near Elephant and Castle in south London, to create a beautiful yet menacing crystalline growth on the walls, floor, ceiling and surfaces of this abandoned dwelling.

When Seizure first opened in September 2008, the flat became a site of pilgrimage for thousands of curious visitors. Every day hundreds of people made their way across the capital to this anonymous council flat to view the unexpected physical forms. As a result of the project's popular success, the installation reopened in July 2009. It has also secured Roger Hiorns a nomination for the 2009 Turner Prize.

Seizure is the first commission of the Jerwood/Artangel Open, a £1 million initiative created by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and commissioning agency Artangel, in partnership with Arts Council England and Channel 4.

It was launched in 2006 to encourage emerging artists of all disciplines to propose ideas for exceptional projects in relation to specific sites across the UK. Arts practitioners including visual artists, filmmakers, choreographers, composers, writers, theatre practitioners, applied artists and producers living anywhere in the country were invited to imagine ambitious transformations of specific sites and situations - urban, suburban and rural. More than a thousand applications have been received since the project was established, and the fund will make three new commissions possible.