CHRYSO VERTICART CARVES A PLACE AT THE LEONARDO

CHRYSO, a global specialist in the chemistry of building materials, supplied its innovative VerticArt to The Trinity Session for an iconic artistic creation in the foyer of The Leonardo in Sandton.

VerticArt was the material of choice when The Trinity Session, a creative production team, embarked on the curation of a sculpted representation of a cross-section through earth, showing the strata formed by tectonic plates shifting and colliding, to form the intricate patterns of geological formations.

Marcus Neustetter, a director of The Trinity Session, explains that this ambitious project called for an earthy, robust medium. CHRYSO VerticArt, a cementitious mortar which is designed for application to vertical surfaces, presented the ideal material.

The chemical makeup of VerticArt allows for a vertically applied maximum thickness of 150 mm, making it ideal for relief three-dimensional (3-D) artwork.

CHYRSO VerticArt was applied in various thicknesses and then carved and textured using palette knives, trowels, chisels, straight edges and wire brushes, to the exact creative brief. A zero to 48 hour carving window ensured that the artists had sufficient time to perfect the application and sculpting processes necessary to create the required 3-D effect.

The mural was intentionally not pigmented, resulting in a very realistic artistic rendition of a cross-
section through the crust of the earth. This is further enhanced with focused lighting, giving the effect of an upwards journey though geological eons as visitors ascend the staircase.

This project used 4,5 tonnes of CHRYSO VerticArt, covering 140 m2, scaling a height of 15 metres (three storeys). It required the specialised skills of eight individual artists, in conjunction with the CHRYSO
technical team and took seven weeks to complete.

The scale, innovative material, product methodology and conceptual approach ensured that the
programme was not just a financial prospect for the materials supplier and the artistic curating team, but rather an opportunity for upliftment and growth for many of the artists, including emerging creative talent.

The artists, Damien Grivas (team leader), Angelique Koekemoer, Ciara Struwig, Marlecia Marais, Patrick Rapai, Paul Setate and Zanre Van Der Walt brought their own technical and creative touch to realising the vision of this work.

Neville Wearne, CHRYSO Southern Africa’s project manager: concrete aesthetics, says that VerticArt was developed to allow artists to create reliefs and textures, which can be sculpted and carved.

“This massive and bold statement artwork is a first for CHRYSO’s VerticArt in both South Africa and worldwide, challenging architects, designers and artists to further explore the decorative potential of concrete,” he concludes.

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