Monumental Achievements

A sculpture that is the largest water-clear, polyurethane resin cast ever made was unveiled in the summer of 2001 as the third and final contemporary work of art to occupy the ’empty’ fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. ‘Monument’ is made from a specially developed new resin and is the result of pioneering teamwork between the artist, the fabricators and Bentley Chemicals.

The sculpture presented a series of major technical hurdles. Peter Turnock, sales and marketing director commented “We had to find a particularly low exothermic water clear resin with a slow cure and we had to avoid distortion and discolouring. On a single pour of this volume we were in uncharted territory.”

The company worked closely with Smooth-On, their principle suppliers of rigid urethane casting resins, in a programme of intense research and development. After a period of some four months the team had developed a new resin called Crystal Clear 207 that successfully met all the demanding technical criteria.

‘Monument’ is approximately five metres, by five metres, by two and a half metres and weighs 11.3 tonnes. Standing on its plinth in Trafalgar Square, artist Rachel Whiteread described it as “a pause – a quiet moment for the space.”

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