Synthesis 1, 2014
Resin, tar, steel base
200 x 33 x 33 cm; 50 x 50 x 5 cm (base)
Courtesy of the artist and Unit London
Price £57,600.00 (including tax)
Tom Price likes to experiment with materials: melting, mixing and manipulating them to behave in unfamiliar ways. After learning how to control cracks and fissures within hard, clear resin, he decided to “mess it up” by adding dense, sticky, black tar. On the first occasion, the resin heated up and set hard; then, as its internal fissures started to appear, the tar began to melt and travel through the opening cracks, revealing a startling array of beautiful colours. The tar erupted into hues of turquoise, green and gold, whilst the resin produced vibrant magentas, purples, pinks and reds: a kaleidoscope of beautiful colours hidden when the materials are in their raw states.
Replicating these stunning results proved challenging. Price spoke to experts in the bitumen and petrochemical industries and learned to control variables such as the tar composition, the age of resin, the type of catalyst used and even humidity levels. Wearing protective gear and breathing apparatus, Price sands and polishes the sculptures to a glass-like finish so the light bounces around inside and illuminates the fascinating, almost living interiors within.
Bloomberg London has a large resin bench and also a monumental, stunning tree installation, made from melted polypropylene pipes, which stretches across four glass meeting rooms.
For more information see theunitldn.com
Hedge issue 52, pp78-83, November 2018