Northamptonshire artist commissioned by Kettering firm creates sculpture inspired by 'uncompromising nature of scientific investigation'

Martyn Paul Steele (right) at work at the forge
Martyn Paul Steele (right) at work at the forge

A Kettering technology centre has commissioned a Northamptonshire sculptor to mark 100 years of research and testing at its site.

SATRA hired Martyn Paul Steele to create a contemporary sculpture and he was inspired by the forces of stress and tension played out on materials under test after visiting the laboratories in Kettering.

To represent this, he 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," said a SATRA spokesman.

The work when complete will be installed externally at SATRA's headquarters in Kettering.

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 at Upper Harlestone 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.