Centenary sculpture commissioned by SATRA
SATRA has commissioned Northamptonshire artist Martyn Paul Steele to create a contemporary sculpture to stand as a reminder of 100 years of research and testing. Steele was inspired by the forces of stress and tension played out on materials under test after visiting SATRA’s laboratories, and conceived the idea of solid ‘COR-TEN’ weathering steel plates pulled apart by 100 stainless steel cables clamped and tightened in stone. The evolving dynamic contrast will emphasise the uncompromising nature of scientific investigation and precision as materials and components come and go over time. When complete, the work will be installed externally at SATRA's Kettering headquarters.
Steele studied fine art sculpture at Loughborough University and has been artist in residence at several schools and colleges. He lives on a narrowboat on the River Nene, and works from his studio workshop in Northamptonshire and the family blacksmith forge in North Yorkshire. Steele works mainly in stone, steel and wrought iron, aiming to find the unity between sculpture and the environment.
In addition to the installation of this sculpture, SATRA will be marking the milestone of its centenary in May 2019 with a number of special events. A commemorative publication will also be produced to highlight the progress made in the field of research and testing during the past 100 years. This will highlight the organisation’s history from its early days following World War I, and will include a collection of unique photographs sourced from SATRA’s extensive archives.
The photograph above shows sculpture Martyn Paul Steele (right) at work at his forge.
This article was originally published on page 4 of the April 2019 issue of SATRA Bulletin.