Summer 2017

Art under pressure

JFD makes creative use of the National Hyperbaric Centre for an innovative project. 

JFD’s National Hyperbaric Centre (NHC) might be a world-leading site for cutting-edge pressure testing, but it was recently called upon for an unusual task: to subject two giant sculptures to maximum depth pressure as part of a major art exhibition.

Prominent international artist, Steven Claydon approached JFD to ask if several of his sculptures could be tested to 100bar for the exhibition in Glasgow which had been set up to address ideas of jeopardy and pressure.

The JFD team agreed to take on the challenge, and the two large wooden totem-like sculptures duly arrived at the NHC in April. They were secured within its large work chamber, which was then flooded with water and pressurised. The procedure was recorded with underwater photography to be used as part of the exhibition.

Martin Robb, JFD’s head of delivery, commercial services says:

"Over the years, the NHC has seen a lot of unusual objects come through its doors for testing. Our chambers are adaptable and can simulate impressive depths, as well as altitudes of up to 55,000ft. Our team is always excited to receive out of the ordinary enquiries which explore our diversity and capability."

Claydon chose to work with JFD to conceptualise his work which often draws a parallel between physical pressures – such as those experienced at great depth, altitude, or in a vacuum – and the subtler kinds of pressures that are imposed on objects in terms of how they are used, viewed, presented or aestheticised within any given social or institutional context.

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