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Roger Hiorns: Seizure

Bothy Garden

‘Destined to be remembered as one of the truly worthwhile and significant moments of modern British art’

The Guardian

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Seizure will remain closed until further notice.

*Seizure is open at weekends and daily during bank and school holidays (based on Wakefield term times).

In 2008 Roger Hiorns, commissioned by Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, transformed an empty council flat in Southwark, London, into a sparkling blue environment of copper sulphate crystals. 

Seizure was created using 75,000 litres of liquid copper sulphate, which was pumped into the former council flat to create a strangely beautiful and somewhat menacing crystalline growth on the walls, floor, ceiling and bath of the abandoned dwelling.

Before coming to YSP, 151–189 Harper Road, near Elephant & Castle became a site of pilgrimage, with thousands of people making their way across the capital to the anonymous council flat. The exhibit closed to the public in January 2010.


Faced with the demolition of the social housing block in early 2011, the piece was acquired by the Arts Council Collection, thanks to a gift by the artist, Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation through the Art Fund, with the support of The Henry Moore Foundation. The work, weighing over 31 tonnes, was successfully extracted from the property in February 2011, following meticulous planning which saw one wall of the flat removed before the whole structure was pulled out of the building using hydraulic jacks and craned onto the back of a low loader. Seizure was subsequently transported to YSP and is the subject of a 10-year loan agreement between the Arts Council Collection and YSP, where it is presented within an award-winning concrete structure, commissioned from Adam Khan Architects, near the YSP Bothy Garden.

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