Seizure is a large-scale installation by British artist Roger Hiorns in which he used unexpected materials to transform an everyday room into a giant piece of art. To create the site-specific installation, Hiorns covered the surface of the interior with plastic sheeting. He then poured more than 20,000 gallons of boiling copper sulphate solution into the abandoned space and let the liquid cool for three weeks. As the liquid cooled, these strange blue crystalline growths began to form, covering the walls, the floors, and the ceiling. The remaining liquid was drained and sent out for special chemical recycling.
By choosing an unpredictable substance, Hiorns let go of control of his artwork and allowed the installation to develop naturally. He says, “I'm not somebody who's interested in a deliberate form or design or style. These materials–fire or foam or crystal growth–have their own autonomy and their own aesthetic, which simply takes me out of the equation.”
Seizure was commissioned by Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Upon completion of the project in 2008, the otherworldly room became a popular tourist attraction. Visitors could travel to the location, near London’s Elephant & Castle, to directly experience this mysterious world filled with sparkling blue crystals.