Our former employee Natasha Peel recently appeared in Aesthetica Magazine’s blog with her phenomenal matt grey sculptures; I like Anonymity and Anonymity likes me (2014) and Quantitative Uncertainty (2014),both being exhibited in the Piano Nobile Gallery, London. Natasha Peel utilised Silicone Engineering’s manufacturing facilities to explore and manipulate Perspex sheets using heat and bodily pressure to form the extraordinary pieces. Natasha’s art was a part of the recent art festival Art14 in London which ran from 28th February until 2nd March, drawing in galleries and institutions from around the world to Olympia Grand in Kensington.
Talking about the inspiration for her work, Natasha said – “I believe that as well as prolonged academic study of fine art, it was really my experience of working at Silicone Engineering and getting to know their manufacturing processes of creating silicone rubber products that contributed to my obsession with the elasticity and malleability of material. From the mixing of compound, the right colours and densities to the extrusion methods and the calendaring of sheets, which are then put into the ovens themselves to be cured – I was very much influenced by such processes of manipulation in my own practice.”
“Silicone rubber itself is a material that has high flexibility and durability as well as its ability to withstand enormous amount of strain and temperature once it’s fully cured. My favourite materials are the natural semi-transparent sheeting, which looks almost biomorphic and also grey sponge sheeting, having used similar grey colours and similar matt textures within my artworks recently. It was whilst doing my Fine Art degree that I began to experiment a lot with perspex as a material. I wanted to subject it to as much heat as possible. I initially used various industrial heat guns, which didn’t work to the desired effect. As they were only able to heat up very small areas of the Perspex at a time I sought to look for other methods. It is then that it came to my attention that Silicone Engineering had large ovens that are normally used for post-curing that I might be able to use for this.”
“With the help of the engineers and other employees, I was able to put this into fruition with much success. Once the Perspex is heated up to a certain temperature and then pulled out of the ovens it becomes pliable and gains a rubber or jelly like consistency. Applying pressure to it by pulling areas of the Perspex allows for it to be sculpted into various compositions and forms. Silicone Engineering have helped me to explore this process to its full potential and I have been able create a number of artworks in this way.“
We wish Natasha all the best with her latest work and hope to be involved with other pieces in the near future.