With thanks to Creative New Zealand for the funding support.
Steel is a material that forms the skeleton of our physical surrounds. Synonymous with the construction industry, it is considered a rigid and immovable material, an essential quality in the function of a structural support for architecture. It spans seemingly impossible stretches of space, shelters us from the inconveniences of our planet, and provides us with a sense of security.
We see these structures every day, in the utilitarian environment we build around us. Universal beams bolted together to form layers of a parking building, the stark underbelly of an overpass, the interlocking calculations of a bridge. All complex mathematical monuments to large scale industrial manufacturing practice.
Hidden underneath this skin of rigidity is an incredibly versatile composite that when heated or submitted to huge pressures, can take on nearly any form imaginable. Steel, when subjected to heavy impact, will respond with distortion, revealing the malleable nature it contains on a molecular level. In essence, it is as fluid as the natural environment it comes from. It is the material that realises the human desire to override the ephemeral nature of life on earth in our quest for permanence.