Small Molecules

This series of bronze artworks continues Briony Marshall’s process of using human figures to represent the atoms in molecules. This tells of how the same few atoms of biological life come together in different ways to produce very different molecules, each fairly simple, but with its own complex story to tell. It also tells of how people come together in society to create complex systems.

The first three freestanding works represent molecules which are contentious in our diet.

Glucose


Glucose with its chemical formula C6H12O6 is the sugar in your sugar bowl and the most common of the simple sugars that power biological life. Its high level in our diets is now the source of health worries.

Bronze
Edition of 12
29 x 23 x 23 cm
2014
£2,500

Ethanol


Ethanol with the chemical formula C2H6O is better known to most as Alcohol. It has been a more or less socially acceptable drug since ancient times playing a key part in many cultural interactions but with associated risks to health and public order.

Bronze
Edition of 12
H 15cm
2014
£1,750

Phosphoric Acid


Phosphoric Acid (formula H3PO4) is a strong acid used in cola drinks giving them their tangy taste, it is also a rust remover.

Bronze
Edition of 12
15 x 16.5 x 16.5 cm
2014
£1,500

Water


Water, molecular formula H2O – is the most ubiquitous molecule in living organisms, representing about 60% of an adult human body and plays a key part of both the geography and life on earth. Yet still holds many mysteries as we don’t fully understand the structure of it in its liquid form.

Bronze
Edition of 12
15 x 15 x 7 cm
2014
£650

Amonia


Amonia, formula NH3 – know to many as a pungent colourless gas, is a precursor to proteins in organic life. Nitrogen fixing bacteria associated with leguminous plants fix atmospheric gas into ammonia which can then enter the food cycle. It is also produced in our livers and quickly converted to urea which is then excreted from the body.

Bronze
Edition of 12
15 x 15 x 7 cm
2014
£685

Methane


Methane, formula CH4 – the main component natural gas extracted from the earth to be used as a fuel. It is also produced by bacteria in the gut of ruminants. It is a powerful green house gas which is how widespread cattle farming contributes to global warming.

Bronze
Edition of 12
15 x 15 x 7 cm
2014
£725

Boat Isomer


This sculpture is based on one of the conformations, or isomers, of cyclohexane. This is a simple ring of six carbon atoms linked together by single bonds and completed by two hydrogen atoms per carbon atom. The molecule can exist in two different conformations – the boat conformation shown here, or the chair. The sculpture is strangely confusing – from certain angles it appears like a perfect hexagon, but dissolves into more confusing geometry as you move around it. It tunes in to the age old idea of the circle of life – yet is also reminiscent of a crown of thorns.

Bronze
Edition of 12
21 x 23 x 14 cm
2016
£2,950

Chair Isomer


This is a companion piece to the above Boat Isomer. In chemistry this is the most stable form of Cyclohexane.

Bronze
Edition of 12
20 x 23 x 13 cm
2016
£2,950

Diamond – a billion to one


This sculpture is based on the structure of diamond and shows how each carbon atom in diamond is connected to 4 carbon atoms around it in a tetrahedral lattice. It is also an exact scale model of diamond with each connection between the figures being a billion times larger than the length of the bonds in an actual molecule of diamond.

Bronze
Edition of 12
37 x 16 x 27 cm
2016
£3,800

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