Seizure by Roger Hiorns

The Arts Council Collection : Seizure by Roger Hiorns

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

(Jonathan Jones, The Guardian),


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.

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 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 its new home at Yorkshire Sculpture Park where it is now on public display.

Presented within a new concrete structure commissioned from Adam Khan Architects near the YSP Bothy Garden, Seizure is open at weekends and daily during bank and school holidays (based on Wakefield term times).


For more information on Seizure, 2008/2013 and opening times, please visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park website.

More on Seizure

Roger Hiorns, Seizure, 2008-2013

A short film exploring Roger Hiorns, Seizure 2008/2013 and documenting the ambitious project to transpose it to Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Radio 4: The Forum

Bridget Kendall discusses the incredibly varied uses and meanings of crystals and talks to artist Roger Hiorns, who has encrusted many objects with sparkling blue copper sulphate crystals, including the entire interior of a derelict London bedsit.
Adam Khan Architects Win Riba Award

In June 2014 Adam Khan Architects were the recipients of a 2014 RIBA National Award for their sensitive and unique design of the concrete structure housing Roger Hiorns’ Seizure 2008/2013.
Making Seizure

Roger Hiorns explains the extraordinary process of creating Seizure to Artangel; from location scouting to alchemy to the expectation of first opening the drained and sealed space.



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.