Sculptures subjected to pressure testing at JFD’s National Hyperbaric Centre for artist’s experiment

JFD, the world-leading subsea operations and manufacturing company and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, subjected sculptures to maximum depth pressure testing to support an experiment by London based, highly commended artist, Steven Claydon.

Claydon is widely known for his sculptural work which examines the changing value of objects – aesthetic, functional and financial. The project, which was one of the more unusual ever undertaken at the NHC, was for the artist’s exhibition at The Common Guild in Glasgow, presenting a new installation which addresses the ideas of jeopardy and pressure, drawing a parallel between physical pressures and the more subtle kinds of pressures in terms of how objects are used, viewed, presented or aestheticised within a social or institutional context.

Two large wooden totem-like sculptures arrived at the National Hyperbaric Centre in April 2017 and were carefully secured within its large work chamber by on-site technicians. The chamber was flooded with water and pressurised to 100bar which is equivalent to 1000msw (metres of sea water). The process was recorded using underwater cameras within the chamber and a photographer took detailed photos of the objects before and after the test for the art installation project.

JFD’s large work chamber, based within its National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen, is capable of simulating depths up to 1000msw. It is used on a daily basis to perform pressure testing on subsea equipment to ensure functionality, safety and integrity at depth prior to mobilisation. Due to the adaptability of the NHC’s assets within the National Hyperbaric Centre, it’s often approached by some more unusual clients.

Martin Robb, JFD head of delivery, commercial services, said:

“Over the years, the NHC has seen a lot of unusual objects come through its doors for testing. Our chambers are adaptable and can simulate impressive depths, but also altitudes of up to 55,000ft. Our technicians are highly experienced and work with the system on a daily basis. They are able to provide clients with specialist advice and support from the project planning stage right through to the end results. Our team is always excited to receive out of the ordinary enquiries which explore our diversity and capability.”

Sculpture test images.png